In their Nietzschean approach to time, David McDermott & Peter McGough make past, present and future coexist at every moment, refusing the linear construction of time imposed by our societies. McDermott & McGough explore different periods, in their way of life as well as in their art, and have chosen their favourite period as being somewhere between the second half of the 19th Century and the 1960’s.
Whatever the period embodied in their pictorial, photographic and sculptural work, McDermott & McGough use scrupulous, meticulous reproductions of period objects and clothing to take us off on their journey in time, making their creations as authentic as possible and even dating them of the period they are exploring: 1877, 1915, 1931, 1967…
Their demand for veracity, based on an encyclopaedic knowledge of the History of Art, is illustrated by the use of the technical means of the period. For example, in their photographic work, they use view cameras with cyanotype, palladium or gum bichromate printing processes, whereas in their painting, they always work on linen canvases, creating for instance their Silhouette Portraits like genuine candle portraits.
This exploration of the past allows the artists to regularly cover major sociological and political issues, such as racism and homophobia, as in the Conspiracy Paintings, 1928 series (1998), which imitate the satirical engravings of the period and lead the spectator to ask questions through the image.
The keys to their inspiration and so specific way of thinking may perhaps be found in their recent paintings, which copy the iconography of the Hollywood films noirs and the comics of the 1960’s, the sequential nature of which they fix in order to show different moments in a single painting.