14 October - 17 November 2006
Theresa Nanigian’s art practice involves creating profiles of contemporary Western life, be it a profile of a single individual, a catastrophic event such as 9/11 or an entire country at a particular point in time. These representations often borrow from the analytical systems, tools and aesthetics of other disciplines such as philosophy, economics and logic.
In Nanigian’s exhibition for Void what is… she uses the ethical debates instigated by Socrates in ancient Greece as a framing device for an investigation into contemporary views on how one should live their life. These fundamental and timeless queries have been outlined in Plato’s early Socratic dialogues and encompass such questions as: What is holiness and piety? What is courage? What is friendship? What is goodness? What is fineness or beauty?
While these questions may sound elitist and of only theoretical concern, they are basically the very same questions being asked in newspaper editorials and in college campuses across Ireland today. what is… appropriates the specific tactics of Socrates' "trial by dialectical ordeal" to put today's opinions about virtue to the test.