Danny Kelly reviews the group exhibition ‘Social Commons’ (2 – 12 May) at Liberty Hall Theatre, Dublin.
Kevin Burns reviews ‘A Visibility Matrix’ (16 April – 8 June) at Void Gallery, Derry.
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
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
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,
CCA Derry~Londonderry 11 August – 12 October 2018 ‘Lavish and Judicious’ is a multivalent and complex exhibition, presented across the three gallery spaces at CCA and featuring work by four female artists: Aideen Doran, Jaana Kokko, Jennifer Trouton and Caroline Achaintre. There are essentially six artworks in the exhibition, including a single-channel film installation and sound installation. According to the exhibition statement, these works speak to “the overlaps between the historical, the ethnological, landscape and colonialism” and how these forces can be “mapped to contemporary systems of production”. The exhibition’s starting point is Sion Mills, a model village and linen mill in County Tyrone, established by the Herdman family in
The MAC, Belfast 10 August – 21 October 2018 So often, when artists reach a certain level of recognition, when the money rolls in and they are showered with very large budgets to play with, their integrity melts into air. They find themselves driven by the market, their hard-fought methods and concepts diluted by the establishment that supports them. Happily, Phil Collins is a rare exception to this rule and this show at the MAC provides evidence of his continued growth over the years. The centrepiece of ‘This is the Day’ is the hour-long film, Ceremony (2017), commemorating the Russian Revolution. It tells the story of Collins’ relocation of a
Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin 19 September – 17 November 2018 Shot on a Hi8 video camera in Seamus Harahan’s familiar, bare-bones style, the film at the heart of this exhibition is presented as an episodic, fragmented documentary, displayed across an array of antique monitors and makeshift screens. With a miscellany of other objects scattered around the gallery space – an old paperback of Knut Hamsun’s Hunger, an enamelled teapot, a Sleaford Mods record – the ramshackle installation feels a little like a car-boot sale. Fancier notes are provided by a copy of a famous tapestry, which functions as a kind of backdrop and a single Eames aluminium chair.1 Less fancy
Ormston House, Limerick 7 – 27 September 2018 Having spent almost an hour visiting the exhibition, ‘Museum of Mythological Water Beasts’ (curated by Mary Conlon and Niamh Brown) I was happily joined by my international colleague, Mat Rappaport, a Chicago-based artist and curator who was holidaying in Ireland. Mat had given a riveting talk on his practice in LSAD the previous day and was keen to explore the vibrant Limerick art scene he had heard about in the States. We walked around the exhibition together and later discussed the merits of the show, which had captured our joint imagination, if for somewhat different reasons. I particularly enjoyed the exhibition’s accumulative
Gallery of Modern Art, Waterford 8 – 26 March 2018 The French novelist, Gustave Flaubert, an exponent of literary realism, once stated that “the artist must be in his work as God is in creation, invisible and all-powerful; one must sense him everywhere, but never see him”1. Anthony Mackey’s first solo exhibition accomplished this with consummate skill. His site-specific installation for GOMA employed various mediums and artistic methods to explore social issues of the marginalised community in which he lives and works. The mixed media installation – comprising drawings, printmaking and video – was presented across two gallery spaces, with local people being an integral element. No titles, details, pricelist,