The series, “End.” is the third and final installment of three bodies of work, each of which explores Doyle’s native Dublin with varying stylistic techniques. His photographs are taken at close range in and around the multi-cultural, working class area of North Dublin’s Parnell Street where the artist has long been a resident, and he describes being drawn to both the area’s vibrancy and weary pathos. Unlike many of today’s photographers constantly searching for the exotic and unknown, Doyle has instead chosen to draw from the wealth of photographic subjects on his doorstep.
Influenced by a reflective period of re-reading Samuel Becket, Doyle has described how he tried to strip as much of the context and background from his compositions as possible. “The subjects are all shot at close range, but respectfully, perhaps even reverently. The pictures show only fragments of possible narratives, but for me, every life has weight and drama, even if it’s meaning is ultimately elusive”
The final installment of the trilogy “End.” gives equal significance to the city and its population, but here their combined forces continuously morph into one another. Individual journeys of everyday life are compacted repetitively into the same streets. Dubliners wear away at the constructed autonomy of their environment, while the streets themselves become a kind of sculptural mental State. “End.” unfolds like a series of maps, photographs overlaid with screen prints and linking the two previous projects together as well as the city and its inhabitants in loops of time and place.
In this series, the collaborative element of Doyle’s practice becomes particularly evident as Niall Sweeney’s sweeping screen prints traverse the surface of some of the photographs. Doyle and Sweeney are part of a larger group of cross-disciplinary compatriots working in design, art, technology and music that emerged from the Dublin creative scene during the 1990s. The city of Dublin has always been a strong presence in the work they have made together, whether in sound format or picture. Having collaborated in the design of Doyle’s first two photobooks, ‘i’ and ‘ON’, it was a natural progression for the third book in the trilogy “End.” to be created out of something more integrated between the two artists, more overlapping in its vision. The project investigates how photographs and drawings can resonate with one another, or even be at odds or out of synch, just as elements clash and rub and overlap on the street.
Ideas of visual sound and the choreography of the everyday are present within the project, both in subject matter and the actions of their making. The moment captured in the lens, the actions embodied in the drawing, the dust, threads, colours and syncopated shapes and props that inhabit the surfaces and spaces of the images. “End.” is a figurative body of work—and that figure is as much the city, the fabric, the light, as the people that inhabit it. It is also the object of the publication of “End.” itself, with its diptychs, leporello pages and unfolding sequences. The repetitions of movements, the loops of time and place that these figures find themselves caught up in, the labyrinth of Dublin, they are as much to do with Samuel Beckett and Pina Bausch as they are William Klein and Constant Nieuwenhuys.
—Text courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery, London