Joseph Noonan-Ganley's art explores how identities are collaboratively made in the process of interpreting others, being interpreted by others and the integration of these relationships.
Themes cluster around embodied labour, biographic authorship and illicit sex acts. Aiming to expand queer sensory vocabularies by complexifying male sexuality his art exposes problems that are cleansed out of contemporary queer culture (e.g. political ambivalence). The works draw from the literary genre of bio-fiction, feminist bodily experience, theories of sexual dissidence, Materialist and Cinéma Vérité filmmaking.
Joseph often takes as artistic material the lives and works of bisexual and homosexual men (Joseph Cornell, Charles James, Gareth Thomas). His exhibitions, performances and publications openly manipulate the remnants of these artists, designers, sports people, dressmakers and writers. Materials unearthed from the person’s life and work are remade through filming, sculptural construction and textual experimentation in explicit detail. Closing in on singular elements gives the artworks the building blocks to open up new meanings and resonances, shifting the material’s relationship to its original creator.
Examples of some of these materials: misty footage of a muddy sports match; letters riddled with arguments; an amateur mini-TV series shot on a grandmother’s camcorder; digitised tape recordings of interrogations of young rugby players; video footage of a famous American artist’s home.
Joseph finds methods and techniques through engaging these biographic materials, where he unravels popular notions of the authentic self. These allow him to establish idiosyncratic processes of understanding. An example is the editing technique developed for his 2017 video installation ‘The Cesspool of Rapture’, which was derived from the function of the zipper in the couturier Charles James’s work. Based on the zipper’s design as a device of composure, the editing made new visual arrangements and imaginaries with James’s clothes and complex bisexuality.