Adorned Documents is a collaborative project between Irish artists Jane Fogarty and David Lunney.
The work involved in this project draws on elements from both of our practices. Fogarty has taken on the role of “artist”, and Lunney has taken the role of “artist as documenter”. Fogarty’s sculptural works are used as a source of imagery for an etching by Lunney. This etching is then housed in a handmade frame covered in string. This is integral to the overall artwork; we have chosen to replicate the format of this pamphlet that you hold in your hand. This replication acts as a frame which houses the photograph on the page facing, in the form of an etching. In doing so, we seek to ensure the survival of our work and simultaneously to challenge the parameters of documentation.
Fogarty and Lunney’s self-assigned roles in this project act as a means for them to question the purpose of documentation in art, specifically in an art historical context. Often, the documentation associated with an art event, particularly printed matter, is used to create a historical reference point and is archived to provide a record of an exhibition or an artist’s work.
Documentation can preserve the moment of an exhibition for a potential or future audience as well as the actual audience and can serve archival purposes. Due to this, much importance is placed on documenting (the actual act of photographing and recording) and on how this moment can be preserved for, and presented to a future audience. A larger audience can come in contact with the work through this secondary source. The perceived reality of the moment of the event is embellished by the style and presentation of the document that accompanies the art event, but the truth of the moment is simultaneously obscured.
The designs and layouts of art publications in general affect the way in which through its documentation, a particular body of work is perceived; choices made regarding format, layout, colouring, typography, font, paper etc, create a context through which the work is approached.
An art object and the documentation associated with it, can be seen as cause and effect respectively. Usually, the art object exists in its own right and the documentation exists to serve as a reminder of it. By contrast, in this project, the relationship is cyclical. This pamphlet acts as a piece of documentation while at the same time formally influencing and framing the artwork it is discussing.
Each work is accompanied by a bespoke publication which is mirrored in the fabrication of the piece.