THE OWL OF MINERVA SPREADS ITS WINGS WITH THE FALLING OF THE DUSK, 2012 Taxidermy long-eared owl 39 x 12 x12 cm
Echoing the crew in the film ‘Mount Analogue Revisited’, awaiting the appropriate circumstances to enable them to enter the shores of the island, a taxidermy owl ‘The Owl of Minerva spreads its wings with the falling of the dusk’ sits perched high above the gallery. Clearly it will never fly but as the title declares, it awaits a certain moment when the conditions are right, creating an enduring interval in the moment itself. Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom, was associated with the owl, traditionally regarded as wise, and hence a metaphor for philosophy. Hegel wrote, in the preface to his Philosophy of Right: 'The owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the falling of the dusk.' He meant that philosophy understands reality only after the fact. It cannot prescribe how the world is or ought to be.
Installation at The Hugh Lane Gallery
Installation at the Irish Museum of Modern Art