MATT PACKER AND ALISSA KLEIST DISCUSS ‘SCISSORS CUT PAPER WRAP STONE’, A TOURING EXHIBITION BY CCA DERRY-LONDONDERRY.
LIKE many curators (and indeed, artists) we often develop ideas by thinking through references or historical incidences that have little to do with contemporary art from the outset. ‘Scissors Cut Paper Wrap Stone’ is a case in point: an exhibition that developed from our discovery of a science fiction novel written in 1994 by author Ian McDonald. The novel led us to understand a rich history of sci-fi produced in Northern Ireland, of which Ian McDonald is a part. He is one in a long line of authors dating back to the late nineteenth century that obviously coincided with considerable political, industrial and cultural change over the intervening years. Given the region’s difficult past (and equally uncertain future), it makes sense that a history of science fiction literature exists in Northern Ireland. With its characteristic conjuring of alternative worlds, new life-forms and imaginative re-workings of everyday life, science fiction might be described as an act of ‘cognitive estrangement’ that allows us to re-approach the conditions of our society.
Continue reading “Mind-Controlling Images”
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.
Continue reading “Beyond Matter: Phantasmagoric Fluid”
JOANNE LAWS INTERVIEWS SARAH BROWNE AND JESSE JONES ABOUT THEIR ONGOING PROJECT ‘IN THE SHADOW OF THE STATE’.
Joanne Laws: Perhaps you might explain how your collaboration came about and introduce some of your initial ideas in developing this major new project?
Sarah Browne/Jesse Jones: We’d known each other’s practices for many years and felt that at some stage we would find the right opportunity to work together. In 2014, we started discussing a potential collaboration with Patrick Fox (then Director of Create), and later Rachel Anderson (then producer/curator at Artangel, London). We attempted to identify the greatest urgencies for us as artists at that time and felt there was a renewed need to examine and refigure the position of women in relation to a patriarchal nation state. From the beginning of our work together, law and its instruments have been a critical focus. The Irish Sea also loomed large in our imagination.
Continue reading “Towards a Post -Patriarchal State”
JOANNE LAWS INTERVIEWS ANDREW DUGGAN ABOUT ‘PROCLAMATION’, A MULTI-VENUE EXHBITION FUNDED BY CULTURE IRELAND.
Two neon signs in a field
A public act
‘It Only Remains’ (into the night)
(out of the dawn) ‘Until Such Time’
Explicit or evocative, for discourse or meditation
A spell to conjure a desired state of affairs
A declaration that a state of affairs pertains
Sounds: between crying and sighing
Continue reading “Do We Live in History?”
RHONA BYRNE AND YVONNE McGUINNESS SPEAK ABOUT THEIR COLLABORATIVE PUBLIC ART COMMISSION ‘MOBILE MONUMENTS’.
Commissioned by Fingal County Council Arts office for their 1916 Commemorative Public Art Commission, ‘Mobile Monuments’ was produced as part of the 1916 Centenary Programme over a six-month period. The project involved three trikes with mobile sculptures, which turned into performance platforms becoming ‘forms in action’. The budget for the project was €35,000 and our proposal was selected through an open call submission with two rounds.
Continue reading “Forms in Action”
CURATOR SANDRA KRIŽIĆ ROBAN TALKS TO DRAGANA JURIŠIĆ ABOUT HER BOOK YU: THE LOST COUNTRY, AND HOW THE ARTIST’S PERSONAL HISTORY AS AN EXILE DETERMINES HER WORK AND HER PERCEPTION OF THE WORLD.
Sandra Križić Roban: In the last couple of years we have witnessed a surge in the number of publications and research works that deal with the former Yugoslavia. While some focus on the legacy of post-war modernism, and others on the post-1990s period and the social divisions that transpired as a result, there are also a significant number that deal with the writer’s own family history and the pursuit of identity. I want to know about how you came to do it. Why is heritage important to you? What have you found out about yourself during this research, and how did you perceive your own family? Did anything change from the things you already knew?
Continue reading “Exile & Perception”
ARTIST EILIS MCDONALD GIVES A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE ON HOW TO MAKE AN INTERNET-BASED ARTWORK.
You might be reading this article in a hardcopy of VAN, but chances are you’ve read more articles online this morning than you’ll read in this entire issue. Every artist that isn’t strictly using traditional media could benefit from knowing how to make an artwork for the internet. Even if it’s not the primary place you want to locate your work, it can be an easy, fun, quick and a satisfying way to express the smaller ideas you might have been saving up while waiting for your next big gallery show.
Continue reading “Looking a Pigeon in the Eye on a Window Ledge”
CHRIS HAYES, CO-DIRECTOR OF ORMSTON HOUSE, LIMERICK, DISCUSSES THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF ARTIST-LED PRACTICE AS AN INSIDER.
Sample-Studios is an artist-run space in Cork. To celebrate its fifth birthday Artistic Director, Aideen Quirke, organised a three-day festival of events. As part of the festivities a panel discussion titled ‘Artist-Led Island’ tackled the topic of artist-led spaces in Ireland. The panel included Moran Been-Noon from Platform Arts Belfast, Lisa Crowne from A4 Sounds in Dublin, David Dobz O’Brien from the National Sculpture Factory in Cork, Gavin Murphy from Pallas Projects in Dublin, Shelly McDonnell, Communications and Advocacy Assistant at VAI, and myself, representing Ormston House in Limerick.
Continue reading “Artist-Led Island”
JENNIFER TROUTON DISCUSSES THE PROCESS BEHIND HER WORK ‘THE TIES THAT BIND’, WHICH WAS SHOWN AT THE ROYAL ULSTER ACADEMY’S 134TH ANNUAL EXHIBITION (16 OCTOBER 2015 – 3 JANUARY 2016).
My painting The Ties That Bind has its roots in the 1700s and the patriarchal mindset of the founding president of the Royal Academy of Arts, Sir Joshua Reynolds. In a sweeping generalisation, Reynolds decreed: “Let men busy themselves with all that has to do with great art . . . let women occupy themselves with those kinds of art that they have always preferred, the painting of flowers”. This statement, and the attitude toward still-life painting that it evokes, put fire in my blood in 1999 and has continued to be a source of motivation to this day.
Continue reading “The Ties That Bind”