Australian artist Patrick Hartigan exhibited a series of water colours in 2009 entitled “The Village is Quiet” – a show which was complemented by the publication of a series of short stories and a limited release dvd under the same title. Producer g.bert invited Hartigan to record a reading of a selection of the stories as a gesture toward a continued multiplication of media in Hartigan’s work through (and despite) which the ‘village remains quiet’.
Hartigan’s facility in isolating and expressing the subtleties and idiosyncracies of the simple everyday life of an unnamed contemporary Slovakian village in fact borders on a mythical expression – a kind of singular exemplarity. Littered as his work is with post-soviet remnants (the public address system that still ‘broadcasts’ via loudspeakers, for example) and the consequences of EU expansion (the evident desertion of youth), Hartigan’s village and its eloquent quietude speaks a kind of obscure generality (seen, as it is, through the eyes of an antipodean outsider finding feet and language in the village’s almost empty streets and homes).
A simple radio production (artifacts of recording included) accentuates the simplicity of Hartigan’s means. Visit http://www.brettmcdowellgallery.com/patrickhartigan09.html and http://www.darrenknightgallery.com/artists/hartigan/artist.htm for Hartigan’s visual story