Conor Mary Foy: ADIAPHORA

30 October - 2 November 2013

Adiaphora: a philosophy that signifies things outside of the moral law, i.e. actions, pursuits that are not sanctioned or forbidden, but indifferent. The idea of indifference however is not simply the notion of not being one or the other, but it is the nature of not interested in one or the other; good or evil. It holds the equal potential of swinging in favour of good or evil, a sense of looming possibility that things may take a turn for the worse, and simultaneously, knowing that the turn may never happen. 

Conor Foy’s visuals are filled with loaded trinkets and symbols; unknown and unfamiliar symbolic objects are being used with casual apathy, and there is a sense that the significance of these objects is perhaps, indifferent. Undeniably it exists, likely un-interested in its particular realisation. Symbols encompass the opportunity and a readiness for appropriation; a platform for the eternal capability of potentials. This brewing possibility spills onto the context within Foy’s video and photography work. Each scenario is placed within a neutrality, with no structure to discern in these scenes; historical, present or futuristic, and the presence of these loaded symbolic visuals sitting in a vague and un-telling backdrop is one that is easily, very unfamiliar; what could be from our time or someone else’s, from our world or the next. The sequential purposefulness of the narrative in these works progresses in tandem alongside the gearing of adiaphora’s fundamental implications; an impending, indifferent possibility of things. The cultish direction of Foy’s video works, strive towards the sense of a greater indifference. 


This notion of promise is held firmly and coyly over Foy’s approach to the idea of the cult. His works reveal the dichotomy of the omen; the portent of good or evil, and in this case the portent of the ‘perhaps-ness.’ There remains an awareness of the ‘adiaphoric-ness’ of the possibility itself; the idea however, remains apathetic. The notion of being so close to an evil, however equally close to an idea of good, is surely an uncomfortable one, and in cultish behaviour there lies a vague uncertainty in terms of its moral fixation. In the process of an individual’s subservience to a notion of promise, a pursuit of morality certainly contains a very potent possibility of the tangential. The processes of a cultish realisation is often one alluded to violence and sacrifice, and within this herd mentality, the sensation of the promise compels. This greater good (or this greater indifference) saturates the senses of morality in a vague association of uncertainty and compromise. 

The ritualistic aspect to Foy’s work is itself folded again in a play between two certainties of liberation and discipline. The notion of the ritual provides a hope of salvation and deliverance, however only through means of conformity and control. The herd mentality of these processes in Foy’s work form a reductive catalyst approaching a tribal and primitive motion. The indistinguishable, individual give and take that constructs this wave of pursuit can be underplayed in the subservient sacrifice, pledged for a greater salvation – for a greater possibility of salvation. 

This ritualistic, primal reduction in Foy’s work spews a closeness to this asserted adiaphoric liberation. The vague dichotomies between a sense of liberation and conformity within the ritual and the cult are a forthcoming mesh of truths and falsities, in an authored smog of reality and fiction. The pursuits of these kinds of obscurities in Foy’s work are in a sense the unknown unknowns, which makes them all the more uncomfortable to hold. Our structures have given permission and thus acquaintance with the known unknowns which we are accustomed to in the form of recognizable faiths and religions. What is being tracked here is a further anonymity, and perhaps dangerous (or perhaps safe) sensationalism. Within the adiaphoric realm however, the promise of these potentialities may be enough to sustain a system of pursuit in Foy’s work, which for the mean time sits indifferently, on the fence.