Suspicious Sharks: I am sorry German just English

One of the first pieces of work I made on the residency at Takt in Berlin was a painting of a shark in the water confronting the viewer with the caption “while snorkelling three miles out Damien Hirst realizes by a cruel twist of fate the tables have been turned….” I had this idea as a comical loop and also a somewhat ironic scenario. It is a painting about self-referencing, art referencing art, but also about the obscurity of coincidence. Whether or not this painting provided all of these subtle subtexts of life, that is how I presented it at the first group critique I had mid way through April. I then forgot about the work to pursue other artistic goals.

It is the first of May. A day of partying to reign in the start of the summer, I have been texted by some friends that the place to be is Kreuzberg, one district over from where I am staying. As I walk past Warschauer station and towards the Berlin wall the crowds have started gathering and hordes of trendy looking young people pile out of the station smoking and carrying bottles of beer which will be picked up or placed by the homeless so they can recycle the glass for cash, a system that should be adopted in my opinion by all major cities. As I cross the Oberbaum Bridge eleven riot vans stand as a marker that you are entering a quarantined part of town designated for partying. I walk for an hour through the plastic beer container laden street where every second shop, be it restaurant, kebab house or off-licence, is blasting out dance music ranging from minimal tech to much harder beats. I have trouble finding my friends, as our phones will only allow us to send text messages. I text them that I am standing by a bus stop with people dancing on top and after a moment I realise there are many bus stops with people dancing on top. Eventually I find my friends on a patch of grass dancing; one of them tells me she saw something today that she thought matched my work. She takes out her iPhone and shows me a photograph she took of a cartoon shark with its tail in its mouth. I take a moment to understand that the shark is literally in a loop. We laugh and the party continues.

It's the day after the party and looking a little worse for wear I decide to go to Lidl. I pick up some microwave food and tomato ketchup. In the queue to the till I notice something to my right; a bright red magazine with the picture from last night on and only one copy left, I feel this is too coincidental and I must buy it. As the till woman bleeps my items she asks me something In German “I am sorry German just English” I reply to her. She looks at the German magazine and then back at me and just for a moment she believes she is staring in to the eyes of a madman.

As I look at the magazine in comparison to the painting I wonder if the events that had occurred between these items mean anything. To me it felt like there was all this coincidence but had I not created it all myself; if I had painted a picture of a gold fish and was interested in triangles would I have not at some point have noticed something that related to these things. It tells me that the loops, spirals and systems we find ourselves in are self-induced and stepping out of one we find ourselves in another, constantly finding meaning in chance.

Liam Finn McGarry
I am a student at central saint martins in London doing bachelor degree in fine art. i work mainly in painting, sculpture and writing, all my work is about experiences and the human condition.
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