Matthew Monahan’s work presents a futuristic archaeology. Drawing from a wide range of influences, from Modernist art to ancient totems, Monahan’s ‘artefacts’ are both familiar and strange. Filtering historical mythologies through his own personal system of reference, altered further through the experience of making, Monahan’s work alludes to a contemporary spirituality, where beauty and brutality coalesce as virtual monuments. In Riker’s Island, Monahan adorns his vitrine with hand-crafted ‘relics’. Nondescript and clunky, their plausible function is secondary to their materiality: wax, paper, and plaster take on barbaric forms, their temporal media humorously suggesting timelessness. Their precious value is guarded by an over-sized sculptural ‘shard’: a monolithic goddess modernised and flat-packed in 2 dimensional card. Through his assemblages, Monahan offers a dark mysticism, where material trickery and abstracted form resurrect forgotten primal instincts.

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