Introduction / Andrei Molodkin
Catholic Blood was created specifically for the context of Derry and Northern Ireland for an exhibition at Void, curated by Conor McFeely. Contextually the installation addresses the Catholic Relief Act of 1829 and the clause of the British constitution that forbids an MP from advising the sovereign on ecclesiastical matters if they are of Catholic faith. This has lead to the implicit belief that no British Prime Minister could ever be Catholic whilst serving as Prime Minister.
The installation comprises separate interrelating elements. The central acrylic sculpture forms an exact, hollowed, replica of the Rose Window located on the façade of the Houses of Parliament. Adjacent, a pharmaceutical fridge containing samples of human blood donated by local Catholics. Regulated by an industrial compressor, a medical pump pushed the refrigerated blood through plastic tubes and into the replica Parliamentary window. Intermittently, an additional pump drew the blood from the window and back into the fridge. This cyclical process is projected onto the wall behind as a continual real-time stream, creating an inescapable re-presentation of the original installation. The clinically designed, factory produced, autonomous sculpture becomes a simulation of the mechanized life support machine and a configuration of the parasitical human body.