Laurence Hegarty makes a world of political allegory and psychoanalytic symbols. Banks commit aggressions and workers suffer; super-ego father figures issue phallic threats. The stakes are high because we live in times Hegarty refers to in the title of this exhibition as “low and dishonest.” Power needs to be understood; it needs to be played with and worked over.
Originally from London, Hegarty has lived in New York for more than two decades. Though initially trained as an artist, his interests have wandered over the years, leading him to pursue film studies and psychoanalysis as partners in the conversation that shapes his studio practice. Hegarty has trained as a psychotherapist and maintains a private practice in New York City. Though the two disciplines – studio art and psychoanalysis – are not integrated in any way, it is the overlaps and collisions between them that shape Hegarty’s art making. Often staged as parades or processions, his installations employ found objects jostling for space alongside figures hoisting flags, batteries of rubber cameras, weapons, carriages and sundry domestic objects. Photographs and fragments of writing are plundered from poems, psychoanalytical texts, European art cinema, liquor commercials and modernist painting. The general tone is theatrical, the organizing principle as narrative, while the references trade in allusions to popular culture, clinical horror and drunken reverie.