Under Cover of Darkness



Solo Exhibition by Fergus Jordan

Curated in collaboration with Robert Huber | EGFK

26 October – 4 November 2012



From the late 1960s until the early 1990’s Northern Ireland was characterised by widespread armed campaigns in the form of shootings, bombings and constant arson attacks between adjacent communities from both republicans and loyalists. Spatially the landscape became increasingly territorial, lines were drawn and physical barriers were erected heightening the sense of division. Throughout the conflict the night time landscape has been associated with numerous accounts of fear, intimidation and paranoia on the streets. Periodically catastrophic incidents took place under cover of darkness contributing to the long-term terror and mental hysteria of this terrain. In the current ‘post-conflict era’ an evident tension remains, in particular at night.

The work investigates some of the widely held assumptions of lighting as the sanctuary from darkness, considering the anxieties of identity through exposure to streetlight. Contrastingly the photographs also stage the difficulties of being isolated by the darkness in a society dependent on modalities of vision to read the iconology of the surrounding territories. What emerges is a dualistic portrait of a society where darkness and artificial light contributes to the already present sense of fragmentation, division and paranoia. ‘Under Cover of Darkness’ is a photographic examination of the invisible tensions present in this post war nocturnal landscape. The series is discernible by its melancholic demeanour, focusing on concealing and withholding information in order to manifest a spatial tension that corresponds to the uncertainty of these terrains.

Photo credit: Fergus Jordan