Requiem for a fly. home contact


Second work in the 'cardiograph' series.

Listen to Requiem for a fly.


A mausoleum was carved out of stone, the walls were lined with sugar and the body of a fly was laid to rest. A requiem mass was digitally composed from the sounds of flies (a collaboration with Slavek Kwi) and mourning chairs incorporating sub-bass woofers were set in place for visitors to sit astride the body and contemplate its passing. A brass plague is inscribed with the date that this being passed from the earth. Through the demise of this allegedly insignificant life and the penetrative sub bass vibration from within the chairs, this work explores the intimate nature of mourning, from public ceremony to private ritual and the ways that we negotiate these structures.

In 'Requiem for a Fly', one of the strongest emotions from the previous exhibition, mp3 (abode), is explored. The feeling of loss. The work invites you to sit into mourning chairs and pay respects to a dead fly that has been laid to rest in his personal mausoleum. You are surrounded by processed yet moving sound sculpted from recordings of flies, different tones and resonance similar to the groupings in an orchestra, constructed into a musical arrangement of three parts. A collaboration between Paul Murnaghan and Slavek Kwi. There is humor in this work and an invitation to sit and take part, it questions how / who we mourn and what we invest in death.

Again the digital technology is not in evidence but it is crucial in the way that the sound is mixed, the sub-bass vibrates through you in the more emotional parts as the speakers are built into the chairs. The installation was placed in the window space of The Project Arts Centre for several weeks after the first public hearing of this work, in complete darkness at the 'poison hats' festival. I found when I was immersed in the work in the window space, the feeling of being watched added an element of unease and embarrassment to this private/public moment.

Manus Hand.

Taken from 'The Sculpture Society of Ireland' magazine, July - August 2003.

Killkenny Arts Office in association with The Butler Gallery 2005.
Wittener Tage, Fur Neue Kammermusik, Witten, Germany. 2004. 
Rachael Haferkamp Gallery, Cologne, June/July 2003.
Poison Hats at 'The Project Arts Centre’, Dublin. May 2001.