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Installation

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:

Walker and Walker ‘Nowhere Without No(w)’

Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin15 February – 3 June 2019 ‘Nowhere Without No(w)’ highlights Walker and Walker’s longstanding interest in the Modernist canon – particularly Charles Baudelaire and Stephane Mallarmé, in this instance. The themes of the works presented – and the artists’ long-running collaborative practice – are diverse, but Romantic association predominates. The exhibition is exactingly prescriptive in its use of ideas and literary references. Its sleekly direct and literal translations of ideas into form invoke the aesthetic austerity of the conceptual tradition. However, its sensuous silvers and inky blacks exacerbate the cerebral quality into kitsch and fetish, helping to establish a sense of fraught disclosure. Pathos is

Anita Groener ‘The Past Is A Foreign Country’

The Dock, Carrick-on-Shannon19 January – 9 March 2019 Stories of displacement are not aesthetic. These are rushed, unplanned, reactive situations, without much time or resources for calculation or intention. Perhaps this is part of the reason why many people find it hard to identify with asylum seekers; it is difficult for most of us to comprehend such an urgent need to escape danger and to find a safer place.  Anita Groener’s recent exhibition at The Dock captured this challenge, before we even approached the work. The title, ‘The Past Is A Foreign Country’ – taken from the opening of L. P. Hartley’s novel, The Go-Between (1953) – highlighted this sense

Time Tries all Things

CHRIS HAYES TALKS TO GRACE WEIR ABOUT HER CURRENT EXHIBITION AT THE INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS, LONDON.   Fight with Cudgels (c.1820–23) is a painting by Francisco Goya that depicts two men duelling, and with each step, slowing sinking further into the mud below them. Their supposed opposition is a misreading; their struggle is not between two distinct forces, but a situation which they create together and for each other. “With every move they make,” wrote French philosopher Michel Serres, “they are gradually burying themselves together.” The image appealed to Serres as a metaphor for a relationship between two things, in this instance, that of people and the threat of climate

Drawing de-Centered

MELISSA O’FAHERTY AND KIERA O’TOOLE DISCUSS THE IRISH CONTEMPORARY DRAWING COLLECTIVE, DRAWING DE-CENTRED. Diverse-nomadic-open-provoke-interim-decenterd-trail-liminal-sift-provisional-testing-scratch.  Drawing de-Centred is an artist collective and online platform for exploring contemporary drawing practice and research. In 2016, six professional Irish artists, whose practice is rooted in drawing, first met at a peer critique event, organised by Visual Artists Ireland and chaired by Arno Kramer. Kramer is a visual artist, curator and founder of Drawing Centre Diepenheim in The Netherlands, who champions contemporary drawing in all its diversity. One of the many outcomes of this serendipitous encounter was the establishment of a drawing-focused platform, titled ‘Drawing de-Centred’ (DdC). The title of the collective originated from the

‘Lectus’

MART Gallery, Dublin10 January – 14 February 2019 This is the third year of MART’s Exhibition Award, in partnership with CIT Crawford College of Art & Design (CCAD) and Fire Station Artists’ Studios (FSAS). Curated by Deirdre Morrissey, ‘Lectus’ platforms the work of Èanna Heavey, Sarah Diviney (both CCAD graduates) and IADT graduate Emma McKeagney. On that day in January when winter finally decided to bite, the 12-foot red doors of the Fire Station Gallery gaped open. In its jaws, a yellow bathtub, half full of cloudy murk, sits almost fallow but for a motionless floral dress, stained with an indistinct darkness. This is the sculptural residue of Diviney’s performance,

Synontic State

ÁINE PHILLIPS REFLECTS ON TULCA FESTIVAL OF VISUAL ARTS 2018, CURATED BY LINDA SHEVLIN. A person in complete accord with their environment is described as being in a ‘syntonic state’. Curated by Linda Shevlin, this year’s edition of TULCA Festival of Visual Arts in Galway examined this concept. The artists, thinkers and writers assembled by Shevlin offered different perspectives on this theme, generating various possibilities for viewers to attain syntonic experiences through art. A vibrant example of human and environmental accord was created on the opening night by Aoibheann Greenan with The Life of Riley. Taking the form of a street procession, led by a lone piper, the work involved

Productive Friction

KEVIN BURNS REVIEWS THE FOURTH AND FINAL INSTALMENT OF VAI’S NEW SPACES EXHIBITION PROGRAMME IN DERRY. It’s about four in the afternoon: I’ve just bothered someone in an office to buzz me up to the first floor; I ascend a grand Georgian staircase, lined with Rothko posters; I wait while they switch everything on; and now I’m watching a stage eat itself. There are four metal scaffolds with stage lighting, mirrored in quadrants, cyclically contracting then expanding, like industrial foliate. Out of the corner of my eye, I notice that a progress bar has appeared at the top of the screen, with a timer counting 3, 4, 5 – then

‘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

Tomas Penc ‘ENDUSER’

Triskel Christchurch, Cork 11 October – 22 December 2018 In large black type, the word “ENDUSER” confronts visitors, while underneath, an inscrutable text begins: “you owe me, big smooth eggs of divine fertility laid out of the window into the endless landscape.” The phrase “you owe me” is repeated throughout this text: “you owe me…snow… strawberries…colour…”. Some, but not all, of the things ‘owed’ also appear in the presented artworks.  Penc presented two distinct and consecutive phases of this exhibition, each running for approximately a month at Triskel Christchurch – an eighteenth-century neoclassical Georgian church, which functions as Triskel Art Centre’s main auditorium. The titular artwork, ENDUSER, featured in both iterations,

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