Sean Lynch A Murmur, Repeated

Sean Lynch, A Murmur, Repeated, 2018–19. Video still. Courtesy Ronchini, London

John Hansard Gallery, part of the University of Southampton, is pleased to present A Murmur, Repeated, a new exhibition by Sean Lynch.

Alongside a varied collection of artefacts, props and sculptures, Lynch presents a new film shot in Southampton with actors Gina Moxley and Timmy Creed. Time travel and spirit possession drive a surreal narrative where a bard from the seventeenth century ends up encountering the empty car park of an out-of-business Toys R Us, Southampton’s geothermal plant, Stonehenge and an IBIS hotel.

What would a poetic mind of medieval times make of the urban landscape, city regeneration, and the heritage industry? Is it discernable to ask a figure lost in history to consider modern innovations such as mobile phones, plastic, or postmodern architecture, among many other things?

Caught between a desire to fit into the constraints of the contemporary world and the seemingly liberal possibilities of a more poetic, distant life of the past, Lynch’s central characters accordingly offer up many speculative opinions about the construction of public space and the role of history in our lives.

Initially promoted as a movie trailer on John Hansard Gallery’s video wall in late 2018, Lynch’s exhibition now expands to feature archaeological objects that were dug up to make way for the Westgate shipping centre, a unique walking stick by artisan Seanie Barron, a large stone sculpture reviving the traditions of medieval cursing rocks, and a special cameo by folklorist Eddie Lenihan. As a reference point, a second film, Latoon (2006 – 2015), will also feature in the exhibition.