What We Do in the Shadows

Almine Rech Gallery, Brussels , 3 June – 29 July

When J.K. Huysmans’s Á Rebours (Against Nature) was published in 1884, it was embraced immediately as epitomising the decadent movement in art and literature. The protagonist of this literary gem is the Duc des Esseintes, an aristocratic aesthete who withdraws from society into a self-made sanctuary of aesthetic beauty. Finding daylight unbearably shrill, the jaded, misanthropic Duc lives by night, staving off crushing ennui by spending all his time and money on obscure, extreme and perverted pursuits. The crepuscular world of Á Rebours came to mind repeatedly as I viewed ‘What We Do in the Shadows’, an exhibition at Almine Rech by the Irish artist Genieve Figgis. Several of the characters inhabiting Figgis’s paintings resembled the image I’d developed of Esseintes over the years: frail, sickly and effeminate, face pitted and pocked by absinthe consumption or syphilis. Moreover, several of the characters depicted in Figgis’s paintings share his penchant for transgressive sexual pleasure. Continue reading “What We Do in the Shadows”

University of the World

PÁDRAIC E. MOORE INTERVIEWS VIVIENNE DICK ABOUT HER FRIENDSHIP WITH NAN GOLDIN AND THEIR CURRENT EXHIBITIONS AT IMMA.

Pádraic E. Moore: Your exhibition ‘93% STARDUST’ runs concurrently with Nan Goldin’s ‘Weekend Plans’ at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA). Perhaps we can discuss the milieu yourself and Nan once shared and the parallels between your work?

Vivienne Dick: I met Nan just after she arrived in New York. We hung out together throughout my time in the city and shared several interests, particularly music. There are parallels in our early work – we were always aware of that, even at the time. We were tuned into each other’s aesthetic from the beginning. There’s a documentary feel to our early work and several of the individuals that one might see in my films also frequently feature in Nan’s images. After the New York period, we met sporadically in different places and Nan travelled to Ireland, visiting Galway, Donegal and Tory Island. The IMMA show features images taken during those trips she made to the west of Ireland.

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Beyond Matter: Phantasmagoric Fluid

PÁDRAIC E. MOORE DISCUSSES ‘ECTOPLASM’, AN EVENT HE INITIATED AT 1646 PROJECT SPACE LOCATED IN THE HAGUE, THE NETHERLANDS.

‘Ectoplasm’ was a one-off, nocturnal event hosted by 1646, a project space in the centre of The Hague. The event, which comprised performances, screenings, participatory actions, readings and physical objects, was the culmination of a curatorial residency I undertook at 1646 in 2015. In addition to a programme of exhibitions, 1646 hosts artists talks, screenings, lectures and events, providing a platform for experimental art practices as well as short-term residencies for foreign artists and curators. The residency provides participants with both a working studio and living space. I was delighted to spend time in The Hague, the administrative capital of the Netherlands. As well as the appeal of the city’s ever-expanding arts scene, the Gemeentemuseum also houses several key works by one of my favourite artists, Piet Mondrian. While one isn’t obliged to present a public project at 1646, I was eager to share some of my recent research with new audiences. ‘Ectoplasm’ brought to fruition the dialogues I had developed with practitioners from the Netherlands and further afield.

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