John Holmes, 'Review' (Metro Life, 18/04/2008)
Rarely is an exhibition as thrilling as Craig Mulholland’s Grandes Et Petites Machines. The show takes its name from a series of French Revolution-era paintings depicting violent struggle against an omnipresent authority. In Mulholland’s work, mankind battles machines for the remnants of its own humanity.
The centrepiece is animated film Peer To Peer. Set in a futuristic prison, Mulholland bombards the viewer with powerful motifs, including a brain spinning separately from a human body. A defiant refrain of ‘my mind beats on ‘recurs throughout, raising the film to an operatic intensity. Equally intense is a four-screen installation called Rising Resistance. Boasting a soundtrack that thunders around Spike Island, it’s such a sensual feast that you begin imagining what it would be like to be in the dystopian world Mullholland has dreamt up.
Mulholland’s work also has it’s subtle qualities. Boom microphones are a recurring symbol, appearing also in two steel tripod sculptures, Weeping Journal and Paths Of Resistance, (pictured). Microphones are shaped like asteroids but their poles have arm-like qualities as they appear to come alive.
He isn’t afraid of working on a galactic scale: a series of polycarbonate prints, including Nation Of Planets, feature spectacular images of planets colliding in a brilliantly realised vision.