Dennis McNulty, I reached inside myself through time, Collection IMMA

A room becomes a den in IMMA’s west wing. In it, the walls are oblique: foiled surfaces on which the voice of A-Ha’s lead singer resounds on a loop. Touch me. You walk through the door and the room is beaten red. Film on the windows, and the sun charges through and the sound of it crinkles. Believe me.

A screen hangs from an overhead plan of webbing straps. It is the shade of blue from your old VHS. Like film credits rolling out from its centre, there are two lists of white words taken from Olaf Stapledon’s timeline for Last and First Men; this is the novel spread out over two billion years of a future history of multiple humanities. “EGYPT, Moses, Iron, Cnossos destroyed 1000BC”, it reads. “Sub Atomic Power, Original Inquiry, Traditionalism”, and the words continue to glide over the edge and they’re gone. Thinking there’s got to be some way to touch the sun.

This lair belongs to a body gone. You imagine this person will come back, trying to grasp the entirety of time and earth until eventually it overcomes everything and this room. Please don’t ask me to leave. I feel the pressure of these days. This is protection. This is an attempt to understand, to categorise, to absorb in and under and put away now and leave that there now. Longing for a future where distance is the tool to cope.

Hold me. Dennis McNulty’s work is the inverse of art in our centenary year. All my powers drifting. This exhibition, averse to emerging art for sake’s sake. Sending me these days. A confrontation. The sun always shines inside myself. A fright. I reached inside myself through time. A haunt for the unfathomable, and a viewing ledge.

Written by Niamh McCooey

Niamh McCooey is a writer and critic based in London.

The Hennessy Art Fund for IMMA Collection, until Summer 2017.