Hélio Oiticica proposed with his work ways ‘of giving the individual the possibility to ‘experiment’ to no longer be the spectator and become the participant’, and it is in this spirit that IMMA invited visitors to be part of the SUMMER RISING – to taste, to listen, to look , to enjoy and most of all to take part.
A ten day festival of music, food, talks and performances
Aether, a new film work by Martin Healy which continues the artist’s exploration of utopian ideology as both material entity and imaginary projection. In this instance, Healy’s work explores the belief in the progressive potential of science and technology that characterised the beginning of the 20th century and makes reference to Paul Scheerbart’s ‘The Perpetual Motion Machine – The Story of an Invention’ (1910). The diary is a written record of Scheerbart’s quest to build a perpetual motion machine and chronicles the author’s efforts to produce a machine he imagined would offer the world access to free energy and as a consequence have profound implications for society. Aether ruminates on the relationship between scientific truth (our attempts to explain the materiality of the world) and aesthetic form (the structures we build to do so) at a time when both these fields of inquiry existed in an ethereal and momentary unison.
Lone characters often define Healy’s films; in this case an un-named narrator, wandering through a tidal landscape, sets the tone and rhythm of the film work. During his journey, the narrator makes associations between the original search for the aether, the composition of matter and the fundamental drive to understand the natural phenomena that affect human existence. In its analysis of the relationships between the natural world and man-made artefacts, Healy’s film is a pensive meditation on the multiple conflicts and consequences of the human desire to harness the physical world.
David Beattie , Mark Clare, Colin Crotty, John Dwyer, Barbara Knezevic
The artists invited to participate in Vue reflect current contemporary artistic practices. The use of materials both found and fabricated reflects on the nature of artistic production but also the economics of materials. The subtle nature of David Beattie’s sculptures invokes playfulness and a means to reinterpret how you view the utility of everyday objects. Barbara Knezevic in this series of sculptures continues her exploration into our relationship with materials.
The works use of materials such as marble and salt challenge notions of stability and the tentative nature of art objects. Colin Crotty’s paintings act as a social commentary on societal structure while also referencing art historical landscape painting. John Dwyer’s paintings referencing the Arab Spring or the London riots stem from digital images of current events. Mark Clare’s social commentary provides a platform to question the status quo and formulate future aspirations; his photographic work reflects this notion.
David Beattie, Mark Clare, Mark Cullen, Mark Garry, Oonagh Gilday, Martin Healy, Caoimhe Kilfeather, Gillian Lawler, Nevin Lehart, Isabel Nolan, Liam O’Callaghan, Niamh Mc Cann, Dennis McNulty, Ciaran Murphy, Gavin Murphy, Alan Phelan, Sonia Shiel, Amy Stephens
Art for Gaza is a benefit exhibition in response to the situation in Gaza. We invited a group of established Irish artists to generously donate a work to the exhibition, the sales of which go directly to the Unicef: Gaza Appeal.
We feel strongly about the situation in Gaza and want to make some effort to support the people and, in particular, the children. This is a humanitarian issue, the images and news that have been coming out of Gaza are deeply disturbing and it is a conflict that seems to have no end.
The first solo exhibition in Europe of the American sculptor Lynda Benglis, best known for her ground-breaking work challenging accepted artistic norms through a pioneering merging of content and form. Comprising works from the 1960s to date, Lynda Benglis highlights the artist’s extraordinary creative output, which has defied prevailing views on the nature and function of art over 40 years. The exhibition is organised by IMMA in collaboration with museums in the Netherlands, France and the USA.
Lynda Benglis focuses on the way in which the artist’s interest in process has led her to expand the possibilities of material from latex pourings and expansions to more precious materials such as glass and gold. Taking the body and landscape as prime references, she creates abstract works that oozes immediacy and physicality. Many appear to a defy gravity, being famously described as ‘frozen gestures’. Her interest in process first manifested itself in her early wax reliefs, created by applying one layer of wax on top of another, building up a geological landscape in such works as Cacoon,1971. Materials are also at the core of Benglis’s ‘Fallen Paintings’, such as Blatt, 1969, in which liquids, including rubber latex or polyurethane foam, are poured directly onto the floor and against the wall.
In the 1970s she created a series of metallised and sparkling ‘Knots’, such as the glittering wall sculpture Psi, 1973. Looped and tied with her own physical force, they also serve Benglis’s wider purpose of disrupting the male-dominated worlds of Modernist and Minimalist art. In 1989, she described society’s attitude to matters of good and bad taste: “There will always be a Puritan strain in society that gets nervous if things are too pleasurable, too beautiful or too open. That’s the most significant legacy of feminist art; it taught us not to be afraid to express these things.”
The exhibition includes a number of the artist’s well known video works, many toying with the recurring theme of gender politics. Videos such as Now, 1973, and Female Sensibility, 1973, capture and mock the sexual prejudices of the times as well as breaking new ground in terms of early video and documentary-making techniques. Other notable works include Wing, 1970, an incarnation of one of her cantilevered sculptures, and the 1975 installation Primary Structures (Paula’s Props). Benglis’s metalised ‘Pleats’ sculptures of the 1980s and ‘90s and her more recent works in polyurethane, such as The Graces, 2003-05, and Chiron, 2009, are also being shown.
The exhibition also presents documentary material outlining the artist’s statements and photographic gestures: ‘The Sexual Mockeries’ series. Benglis used media to control her image and highlight and challenge gender imbalances and power struggles. Her most famous and explicit gesture, in Artforum magazine in November 1974, created a long-running controversy in the American art world. This was part of a series that began at the same time as she worked on videos and famously collaborated with Robert Morris.
A new work, North South East West , 2009, taking the form of a cast bronze fountain, will be shown for the first time in the Formal Gardens at IMMA. The artist has been developing the idea of this hydraulic sculpture since her extraordinary cantilevered installations of the early 1970s, now mostly destroyed. Her first fountainThe Wave (The Wave of the World), 1983, was created for the World Fair in New Orleans.
Eoin McHugh is interested in the psychology of imagery, in the processing involved in the creation and reception of pictures. In order to look upon images as thought, he uses a number of alternative representational forms as models for my work – drawing as storytelling; drawing as didactic means; drawing as painting or sculptural study; drawings as metaphorical thought or rhetoric; drawing as theoretical analysis.
Each image is formed as an idea over a lengthy period. It is consciously developed and allowed to gestate on the verge of consciousness until a clear point of ambiguity has been reached. At this moment a balanced tension has come about between the mental picture of the idea, the process of its creation (the accommodation of thoughts, stories, memories etc.) and its possible meaning. A number of drawings are then made to process this conflict.
The resulting works – which depict scenes, stories, objects and experiments – can be read in terms of metaphor, allegory or any number of rhetorical devices. I am primarily interested in the interpretation of ambivalence and ambiguity in these pieces: in the space between the image, the object and the idea
David Beattie, Conor Harrington, Mark McCullough, CT’ink , Karski, Ono Poiesz, Tom Campbell, Doireann O’Malley
From Where I Stand is an exhibition that explores the notion of identity and public space. The intention is to construct a real and imagined landscape in the realm of the public space resulting in an alternative space that co-exists with the everyday. Art Trail invited artists to respond to the dynamics of the Shandon area as a space/place. Shandon is one of Cork’s most familiar sections and one of it’s best loved. Rich in heritage, it is defined by the Shandon Bells and its winding streets. The streets have a distinctive narrative history of their own but like all narratives about place it changes over time.
When we talk of globalisation as involving some kind of loss, it seems that this loss is to do with place, and the loss of identity. According to Michel De Certeau, globalisation is impelled by a sense of place. He views the experience of the city as partly an experience of wanting change. The current homogenization of our streetscapes is a direct result of this global experience and has resulted in a lack of engagement with our surroundings. Our urban landscape is becoming indistinguishable from any other. Increasing cultural amnesia needs visiting, with a need for the public to linger on or explore the notion of public space as interactive. Shandon’s distinctive streetscape is an integral part of the city’s identity and is currently undergoing its own transformation.
The visual aspect of this year’s Art Trail will primarily take the form of an outdoor exhibition, utilising blank hoardings and disused house fronts as a point of departure. There will also be an indoor element using the Shandon Bells and the Firkin Crane as an exhibition space of video and photography Engaging with public art involves more than objects received passively as in a gallery/museum space- it may open a dialogue with its audience, drawing them together to consider issues, which are wider than the aesthetic. Public art is concerned with contributing to the quality of the imaginative life of the environment. This is a central to this exhibition.
Graffiti-Art is the most common form of public ‘art’, and acts as a site-specific installation in the urban infrastructure. It transforms streets into real-life galleries, through the manipulation and reclamation of public space. It positions itself as a social indicator, describing or expressing the collective aspects of our existence through the documenting of a moment in time. Its ephemeral nature means that it exists for a short period before it is sabotaged or erased. The intention of the exhibition is to draw attention to public spaces and to alter/question/redefine/stimulate the visual landscape.
David Beattie was born in Northern Ireland. As a multi-disciplinary artist his work involves installation, performance, video, and photography. Place, identityand the social interaction with one’s environment play a central role in the formation of the work. Wallball (2006) utilises the repetitive nature of kicking a ball against a wall to examine notions of boundaries, partitions, and enclosures.
Mark McCullough: Inspired by street art, his work makes a fast and immediate visual impact on the viewer. By placing the artwork in the context of advertising, one’s expectations of the contemporary urban-scape are unsettled, encouraging a re-evaluation of the use of public space which is all too often dominated by imposing corporate advertising.
CT’ink is the group name of Evol and Pisa73. Both based in Berlin, they share a studio and have shown widely throughout Europe.
CT’ink are best known for their complex, highly detailed, multi-layered stencils. Their work is a commentary on everyday life in a superficial and style-oriented environment. The tone varies between sarcastic/ironic and serious. The subjects of their paintings, as well as the range of materials employed, show CT’ink’s love for absurdities and overlooked items. Old wood, bulky waste, and cardboard are among their favorites. Most pieces are painted with a mixture of spray cans, markers, wall paint and pencils.
Evol (1972) earned a degree in product design at HFG Schwaebisch Gmuend. Pisa73 (1973) studied visual communication at FHG Pforzheim. Both artists work as freelance designers. www.evoltaste.com – www.pisa73
Harrington is interested in the transient aspect of graffiti and draws parallels between these urban traces and human migration. Within the work this manifests in the way which Harrington treats the figure. In contrast to the smooth realism, large areas seem to be receding or being erased which creates a dialogue between presence and absence.
Conor Harrington is represented by Laseridez Gallery, London. His next solo show will be in November of this year. Harrington will also participate in the BLKMRKT Annual, L.A. in early 2007.
Karski Is from the Netherlands. He studied graphic design for four year and fine art for five, later founding his own design studio. Nowadays he works as a freelancer, using different techniques and influences. His stencils are used lavishly, with different stencils for several colors, and he often dedicates his pictures to certain topics, such as dead rap artists or missing children.
Oonagh Young Gallery, Dublin / The Dock, Carrick on Shannon
Co-curated Oonagh Young & Mary Cremin
January 29 – February 27,2010
David Godbold, Factotum, Nevan Lehart , Paul Murnahan
Screening: Rocky road to Dublin
From 1 January 2010, blasphemy is a crime in Ireland punishable by a €25,000 fine. The law states that blasphemy is committed when a person
“publishes or utters matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of that religion.” This law has provided an extremely dangerous international precedent. The exact wording on blasphemous libel contained in this Defamation Act is being used by Pakistan to seek a “defamation of religion” law through the UN. Irish legislation is being used to legitimise the proposals of Pakistan and the OIC (Organisation of Islamic Conference) to establish defamation of religion as a principle of international law.
Ireland voted with all other EU countries against a resolution on “combating defamation of religion” at the UN last December. Explaining that vote, Irish Foreign Minister Micheál Martin said:
“We believe that the concept of defamation of religion is not consistent with the promotion and protection of human rights. It can be used to justify arbitrary limitations on, or the denial of, freedom of expression. Indeed, Ireland considers that freedom of expression is a key and inherent element in the manifestation of freedom of thought and conscience and as such is complementary to freedom of religion or belief.” “One man’s blasphemy is another man’s comedy classic,” the Irish Examiner editorial remarked. Is it that simple? Images considered blasphemous have changed over the centuries. But the response has not. Eliciting extreme reactions from particular sections of society has resulted in much work being destroyed and many artists banished down through the ages. It is clear to see that images considered ‘blasphemous’ still stir very deep and dangerous emotions such as the The Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy in 2005. What makes an image Blasphemous? In what contexts are they considered sacrilegious or immoral? Is the introduction of this new legislation in Ireland an indication of a tolerant, pluralist and democratic society befitting of our times? The artists in this exhibition address the issue directly through their individual practices or have already confronted censorship of their work.
David Godbold is interested in the ‘conflation of grand themes and daily minutiae’. Here he presents a cluster of crucifixes (13 in total); overlaying redundant notes, lists, leaflets and official documents with religious imagery and wry captions. Godbold considers the language of suffering creating trenchant satire through ironic political commentary. The Vacuum (produced by the arts organisation Factotum formed by Stephen Hackett and Richard West) published two issues simultaneously on the themes of God and Satan. Two weeks later, the City Council debated the contents of these papers with some councillors accusing Factotum of ‘encouraging devil worshiping’. This started a process of debates culminating in the Council disregarding legal advice and demanding that Factotum apologise to them and the citizens of Belfast. To lampoon the Council’s demand, Factotum held a Sorry Day and published a special Sorry Issue of The Vacuum. The three issues and newspaper clippings are on display in the exhibition. Paul Murnaghan presents ‘Map of the Empire’ which originated from Murnaghan’s utopian project ‘Neocredo’ (2008) where he traveled extensively in Europe posing a question through various media, ’if you had the opportunity to compose the opening line of a universal hymn, what would it be and how would you sing it’? Here he adds random material and imposes opinion where once was objectivity. Where blasphemy may be truly present, is in the casual misrepresentation and disregard for stated beliefs through the overlaying of various answers.
For Nevan Lahart materiality and the transforming nature of his art renders his made-objects absurd and potent. The visceral energy in his work reinforces the irony transmitted through his juxtaposition of materials and wit. Lahart is one of Ireland’s most innovative artists, defying the norms of display and challenging spaces with his physicality. He is currently showing in the RHA with A Lively Start to a Dead End.
With the kind permission of the director Peter Lennon, Rocky Road to Dublin (1967) will be screened alongside The Making of Rocky Road (2005) on Wednesday 10th February at 7pm in the gallery. There was a de facto ban on this documentary for over 30 years in Ireland because it argues that Ireland was dominated by cultural isolationism, primarily Gaelic and clerical traditionalism. Shot by French cinematographer Raoul Coutard, Lennon asks: “What do you do with your revolution once you’ve got it?”
Sonia Shiel, Martin Healy, Vivienne Griffin , Francesco Simeti
This group show will explore the relationship between contemporary artistic practices and the notion of ‘ Home’. The use of houses for art exhibitions has become atypical and tactical, as an exhibition site it makes a visible connection between art and home as it relates to lived experience. The unconscious process of the artist that exists outside language will reveal the contentious nature of the home as a place of protected intimacy while also signifying a site of alienation and displacement.
Our altered notion of ‘home’ is a symptom and expression of a new and historically original dilemma where double-lives are led, within our culture of migration and dwelling within the diaspora. Home becomes an imagined place or a fictitiously remembered or half remembered place that people want to exist, but it survives almost entirely in memory. It becomes a site for sheltering daydreams, for a lost time. If Heidegger considered the world as the ‘house in which mortals dwell’, Bachelard in ‘The poetics of space’ will say the same of the image and memory of the house, which constitutes its own poetic place-world. The House has become a paradoxical entity. As a home, it is ‘our first universe’ and our ‘first world’. Transcending our memories of the houses, which we have inhabited, our ‘first world’ is one of protected intimacy. Our imagination recreates this intimacy in spaces that provide the slightest shelter.
House Project proposes to capitalize on a professional peer network that pools individual and combined resources to create an arsenal of inter-disciplinary discourse between practitioners and audiences. It is a multi disciplinary project composed of 7 events taking place in 5 venues across Ireland, one in New York and one in London that advocate the appreciation of an ‘art-local’ audience. In its selection of practices, all exceeding the confines of the gallery, it is interested in creating a play between the private and the public. Hence mobilizing the site as a discursive narrative and generating alternative spatial and temporal relations between the artist, site, work, and audience.
Subverting roles and their subsequent hierarchies House Project will address major concerns and trends in current agendas of contemporary practice and will question the idea of its audience and encounter. In every event there will be a combination of International and Irish artists, critics and curators on board, elevating Irish artists to an international level and developing an international audience for Irish Art. It will culminate in a significant publication – funded by the Arts Council -documenting each event with accompanying texts, which will address the ephemeral works and venues of this once off project, which carries the propensity to develop the identities of all its participants.
House Projects is co-ordinated by Sonia Shiel, Mary Cremin and Gavin Murphy
Conversations: Photography from the Bank of America Collection comprises more than 100 photographs drawn from the renowned Bank of America Collection. The exhibition documents the evolution of photography since the 1850s and presents some of the most notable photographers of the 19th and 20th-centuries. Hand-picked from thousands of photographs, the works are displayed so as to create “conversations” between images by individual artists and across a wide range of themes, including portraits, landscapes, street photography and abstraction.
The exhibition presents works by some of photography’s most celebrated names, from 19th-century innovators Gustave Le Gray, Julia Margaret Cameron and Carleton Watkins, via 20th-century luminaries: Alfred Stieglitz, Harry Callahan, and Irving Penn, to contemporary image makers: William Eggleston, Thomas Ruff and Cindy Sherman. Modern works are juxtaposed with older works, European with American, and staged subjects with documentary images. These conversations create unique visual groupings, including images of visitors responding to art in museums, such as Thomas Struth’s Audience 4 (2004), which shows people gazing upward at Michelangelo’s statue of David at the Academia Gallery in Florence, and Musée du Louvre 4, Paris (1989), where visitors contemplate Théodore Géricault’s famous Raft of the Medusa in a Louvre gallery.
Conversations: Photography from the Bank of America Collection is made possible by the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Art in our Communities Programme™. The exhibition was originally curated by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, travelled to the Museo del Novecento in Milan, and has now been re-interpreted by the Irish Museum of Modern Art.