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Rock the Casbah

LILY CAHILL, WINNER OF THE VAI/DCC ART WRITING AWARD 2019, REVIEWS MICHELLE DOYLE’S SOLO EXHIBITION, ‘OBEDIENT CITY’, AT A4 SOUNDS GALLERY, DUBLIN. I recently hosted a visiting American friend. Spending the majority of their stay in suburban south Dublin prompted the query as to why the fashion is for graveled driveways as opposed to grass. This was one of the only notable differences between the modern metropoles of Dublin and Boston, apparently. Having never paid any particular attention to such ubiquitous assemblies in the past, I couldn’t speculate as to my fellow citizens’ preference for large gatherings of pounded stones surrounding one’s abode. The zealous tourist prompted pause for thought:

‘Infrastructures of Now’

NCAD Gallery, Dublin21 September – 30 November 2018 The glass modernist façade of the NCAD Gallery may be considered a portal into the machine itself. To function, this machine depends on an engaged, creative, intellectual exchange between students, researchers, lecturers and artists, who are in turn inherently dependent on the infrastructures and resources the machine affords them. ‘Infrastructures of Now’, curated by Anne Kelly, interrogates this interdependency, critically addressing questions of autonomy, institutional expectations and the technical methodologies and languages engaged by the contemporary practitioners it frames. The works featured in this exhibition have at some point – either notionally or physically – passed through the engine rooms of this

A Cherished Place

DECLAN LONG PRESENTS AN OVERVIEW OF THE KERLIN GALLERY’S 30-YEAR HISTORY. “Places you can go for free, run by strange people with visions who want to help artists by showing and selling their work”: this was Jerry Saltz, the New York art world’s notorious, necessary gadfly, writing in praise of Chelsea galleries right after Hurricane Sandy had flooded basements, damaged exhibition spaces and indiscriminately destroyed countless works of art. Galleries come and go; we might love them or loathe them; but in that moment of devastation, Saltz felt a need to make a stirring case for their defence: fundamentally, he said, “I love them. All. More than ever.” Free places,

Space is the Place

CHRISTOPHER STEENSON DISCUSSES SOME OF THE MAIN CHALLENGES FOR ARTISTS IN SECURING STUDIO SPACES. The words “artist” and “studio” seem to go hand-in-hand. If you are one, you need one. Workspaces can sometimes be as revered as the artists themselves. Just look at Francis Bacon – his studio was deemed so significant that conservators at Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane painstakingly moved its entire contents from its original location in 7 Reece Mews in London. An extreme example, but, as outlined in other articles featured in this issue, studios are an important – if not essential – part of an artist’s practice. Studios aren’t just a place for making

Landscapes of Potential

AIDAN KELLY MURPHY INTERVIEWS ÁINE MCBRIDE ABOUT HER EMERGING PRACTICE. Aidan Kelly Murphy: Prior to studying art, you obtained a degree in structural engineering. Was this something you had planned or was it something that just evolved? Áine McBride: It wasn’t some grand master plan. I dabbled in painting, knowing that there was something interesting there, but not knowing how to articulate it; being an artist was never framed as something I could realistically pursue. I was interested in looking at art and had friends who were artists so I had an idea of what was going on, but more from the periphery. About halfway through studying engineering, I knew

Gerry Blake ‘Into the Sea’

Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray 19 May – 30 June 2018 When is a photograph just a photograph? How can we ask questions of the photographic image that interrogate the specificity of the medium, without having the subject matter consume our attention? The flippant answer is that we can’t; or at least it is not possible without turning a blind eye to the material world disclosed through the photographic image. Even the vernacular modernism of the 1950s and ‘60s, which sought to create a culture of ‘photography for photography’s sake’, drew on the flow of everyday life to gesture towards photography’s intrinsic characteristics as a medium of visual communication. These questions

Martin Gale ‘Bloodlines’

Taylor Galleries, Dublin 11 May – 2 June 2018 Martin Gale’s realist oil paintings, presented in his recent solo exhibition ‘Bloodlines’ at Taylor Galleries, bring to mind the work of masters of the American Realism genre, including Andrew Wyeth and Edward Hopper. Whilst Wyeth expressed a rural American splendour and Hopper depicted lonely urban dwellers of apartments and American diners, Gale’s paintings are distinctly Irish – resulting in singular visions of our own ‘wild west’ (though probably Kildare, where the artist lives). Minus Wyeth’s ethereality and doubling down on Hopper’s ominous isolation, Gale paints technicolour scenes reminiscent of The Quiet Man, minus the humour, suggesting Ireland, at moments, as perhaps

Shane Berkery ‘Contemporary Paintings’

The Molesworth Gallery, Dublin 1 – 24 February 2018 The title of Shane Berkery’s latest exhibition imparts little more than an implied focus on recent work, spotlighting where he is in his developing career through paintings that reflect his influences and interests. Dublin-based with Irish-Japanese parentage, Berkery eschews an overtly conceptual approach to his practice, and so may also be commenting on what contemporary art can be. The 11 canvases fall into two broad groupings, one with images of young ‘contemporary’ subjects, the other drawing on black and white photos relating to his Japanese heritage. Dating from the 1950s and ‘60s, these are characterised by informal poses and the clothing

Archival Gesture

CHRIS HAYES DISCUSSES THE EVOLUTION OF ‘PERIODICAL REVIEW’ – A LONG-RUNNING CURATORIAL PROJECT BY PALLAS PROJECTS/STUDIOS. To write about the Periodical Review – an annual exhibition, now in its seventh iteration – is to repeat and confront the curatorial project’s own questions and provocations. Hosted, organised and partially curated by the not-for-profit artist-run space, Pallas Projects/Studios in Dublin, Periodical Review aims to enliven the practice of contemporary exhibition-making by reimaging the gallery space as a magazine. The exhibition title, in itself, echoes this publishing endeavour, suggesting something occurring at regular intervals. Periodical Review offers a unique opportunity to look back on the preceding year in Irish art, by showcasing artworks

Push and Pull

RHA Ashford Gallery, Dublin, 19 January – 11 February 2018 In a TED talk entitled ‘How architecture helped music evolve’, the musician David Byrne (of Talking Heads fame) suggested that the relationship between architecture and music is directly formative. Byrne argued that the spatial and architectural features of a venue specifically influence the sonic and acoustic characters of the music performed there. In other words, American punk band, Black Flag, are to the small hardcore club what AC/DC are to the open-air area. If we imagine visual art to be engaged in a similarly formative relationship with its venues of display, it is interesting to consider whether Niall de Buitléar’s exhibition,

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