Category: 2019 04 July/August

July/August Issue – Out Now!

For VAN’s July/August issue, Joanne Laws and Alan Phelan provide thematic appraisals of the 58th Venice Biennale, while Pamela Lee reports from Art Basel and VOLTA Basel art fairs.

This issue includes a number of timely interviews with artists and curators. Chris Clarke speaks to Richard Proffitt about his recent installation, May the Moon Rise and the Sun Set, for Cork Midsummer Festival, and Paul McAree interviews Niamh O’Malley, whose exhibition is currently showing in St Carthage Hall, as part of the Lismore Castle Arts programme. 

Pádraic E. Moore speaks to Annie Fletcher, who has recently been appointed as … Read the rest

Publicness

MANUELA PACELLA INTERVIEWS PAUL O’NEILL ABOUT HIS CURATORIAL PRACTICE AND HIS ARTISTIC DIRECTORSHIP AT PUBLICS IN HELSINKI.

Manuela Pacella: Your practice is characterised by multiple overlapping interests. I agree with you that the definition of a ‘research-oriented curator’ can be quite reductive. You unify the various strands of your research as simply ‘the curatorial’ – what does this term mean for you?
Paul O’Neill: Many arguments in relation to ‘the curatorial’ were played out in discussions in the mid-2000s: Irit Rogoff talked about the curatorial as a ‘critical thought’ that does not rush to embody itself, rather it unravels over … Read the rest

A Geography of Sound

JOANNE LAWS PROFILES SOUND ART AT THE 58TH VENICE ART BIENNALE.

The 58th Venice Art Biennale 2019 makes great strides in averting criticism of previous editions by delivering a roughly equal gender balance, while featuring only living artists. This significant gesture is further augmented by a strong representation of younger artists, manifesting slick new media and interdisciplinary practices. Deviating from past iterations, curator Ralph Rugoff has assembled dual exhibitions across the two main spaces – an effective presentation strategy that allows each of the 79 artists to reveal multiple strands of their practice, while creating more memorable dialogue between the … Read the rest

Staged Authenticity

ALAN PHELAN NAVIGATES GENDER IDENTITIES AT THE 2019 VENICE ART BIENNALE.

The biennale opened a week before the Eurovision. In terms of kitsch nationalism and tone-deaf politics, there could not be a better analogy. Difficult national politics can get art-washed – or tourism promotion can have a stronger grip than the art – but this year, these were outweighed by strong feminist voices or, better still, work that had opposing values to the country they were representing or the curatorial theme they were nestled into. The ‘big show’ that tackles the ‘big ideas’ of the day can easily lose out … Read the rest

Vaults & Rituals

CHRIS CLARKE INTERVIEWS RICHARD PROFFITT ABOUT HIS RECENT INSTALLATION FOR CORK MIDSUMMER FESTIVAL.

Chris Clarke: Your recent installation at University College Cork was entitled May the Moon Rise and the Sun Set. Can you tell me about this title and its significance to the project?
Richard Proffitt: I was thinking about this recently. The main overriding theme of the exhibition was this idea – both theoretically and physically for a viewer – of creating a space to where you can escape. It’s this immersive environment within which you can acquire some degree of solace. So, May the Moon Rise Read the rest

Lismore Castle Arts

PAUL MCAREE DISCUSSES THE EVOLUTION OF LISMORE CASTLE ARTS AND INTERVIEWS NIAMH O’MALLEY, WHOSE EXHIBITION IS CURRENTLY SHOWING IN ST CARTHAGE HALL.  

Lismore Castle Arts (LCA), a not-for-profit gallery, was founded in 2005 in Lismore, County Waterford. We are committed to the presentation of contemporary art across two separate exhibition venues. The main gallery space within Lismore Castle hosts one major exhibition of international art per year. In 2011, a second venue opened in St Carthage Hall – a former Victorian church hall in the heart of Lismore town – which presents a diverse programme of contemporary Irish and … Read the rest

‘See you tomorrow’

Sirius Arts Centre, Cobh
2 May – 7 July 2019

‘See you Tomorrow’ – an ambitious collection of public projects, led by Australian artists Elizabeth Woods and Kevin Leong – has transformed Sirius Arts Centre into a hub of activity. On first impression, the space was busy and alive, albeit slightly confounding. Bread machines whirred in one corner of the room, while leaflets were scattered across a table in another. A video work depicting a serious looking performance of semaphore occupied one end of the space, while at the opposite end, a pile of booklets lay under a bell jar. … Read the rest

‘Social Commons’

Liberty Hall Theatre, Dublin
2 – 12 May 2019 

Francis Fay, The Knight of Mirrors, 2019, performance, 2 May; photograph by Kathryn Maguire

Presented in the congenial lobby, stairs and bar areas of Liberty Hall Theatre, ‘Social Commons’ was curated by Kathryn Maguire and Siobh McGrane for May Fest – SIPTU’s “celebration of workers’ culture”. Where the ‘commons’ denotes a shared physical resource, ‘social commons’ can mean a dispensation of peer-to-peer relationships, parallel to private and State structures, aimed at promoting a ‘general good’. The term refers not just to redistribution, but to transformative communal self-understanding. At the base … Read the rest

Karen Daye-Hutchinson ‘A Harlot’s Progress’

ArtisAnn Gallery, Belfast
2 May – 1 June 2019

‘A Harlot’s Progress’ refers to William Hogarth’s series of the same name – a moral tale of the short life of one Moll Hackabout, who travels from the countryside to London, falls into prostitution, and succumbs to syphilis and death. Artist Karen Daye-Hutchinson’s interpretation of the sequence goes beyond the scope of Hogarth, not only in comprising 12 etchings (as opposed to Hogarth’s six engravings), but also via a prologue in which we learn the motivations of the young woman to leave her ‘shit hole’ of a village and seek her … Read the rest

Sven Anderson and Gerard Byrne ‘A Visibility Matrix’

Void Gallery, Derry
16 April – 8 June 2019

I’m standing in a dark forest. I can hear an ambient rustling and that distinct murmur of the wind, only audible to a fabric microphone. Disconnected rectangles of leaves and sky are visible at eye level; I can briefly feel the forest as I look up towards the grey-blue light diffusing onto the walls. Then a voice declares: “Abort! Lacking power or effect” – and it’s gone.

A forest of identical televisions is installed in pairs throughout Void’s galleries – some are back to back, others at perpendicular angles. Each screen … Read the rest