Patrick Hough graduated from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin with a first class Honours degree in Fine Art Media in 2011. He was also awarded a ‘Highly Commended’ for his thesis When Hollywood Becomes History. Last October he was short listed for the Emergent photography prize in Lleida Spain and in March was awarded funding for continuing projects in Morocco under the Thomas Dammann Memorial Fund. In September he will begin an MA in Fine Art Photography at the Royal College of Art, London.
In his practice Hough utilises photography, video and sound to explore the ideas relating to the ‘Hollywoodisation’ of history or the conflict between cinematic representation and historical fact: how the representation of history in our visual media, has a direct effect on our perception of reality and our physical reality. He predominantly makes work at sites where cinematic illusion and historical reality blur, where representations of history have gained their own reality. For this particular body of work, Patrick travelled to the town of Ouarzazate, Morocco a site that has become known as a “Third World Hollywood”, where the film industry has created a bizarre landscape through use of the area for film sets. The work for this show is comprised of three photographic images, which on their own act as a separate statement about representing history and culture in cinema, but in dialogue with each other form a discourse on representation itself. The film sets represented range from recreations of ancient Egyptian architecture, to an American gas station, to an image of a representation of Mecca. These images are representations of representations, a kind of circular statement on the act of interpretation through art. The images are produced in manner intended to reference the European Romantic paintings of classical ruins. Those images showed the decay of monuments of ancient civilisation, while these particular works show the decay of monuments to capitalism. Underlying this set of images is the uncomfortable subtext of the current cultural-political climate of North Africa and the Middle East, conveyed through the juxtaposition of the content.