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Jesse Jones at the Hugh Lane

Three short films made by Jesse Jones over the last few years will be exhibited in the Hugh Lane Gallery from next week onwards. The Trilogy Of Dust consists of Mahogany (2009), The Predicament of Man (2010) and Against the Realm of the Absolute (2011). The films deal with how cultural artefacts can be restaged in order to uncover hidden histories of dissent and are loosely connected through their staging in desert, ash and dust landscapes. The opening reception is on Wednesday July 4th at 6pm and it runs until October. The following information is from the Hugh Lane website:

The Trilogy of Dust consists of a collection of three films made by artist Jesse Jones over the past three years; Mahogany 2009, The Predicament of Man 2010 and Against the Realm of the Absolute 2011. The Trilogy of Dust depicts a narrative arch that shifts from Brechtian alienation to the cognitive estrangement of Science fiction. Each film is connected through a series of desert, dust and ash landscapes, from the desert of central Australia to a manufactured desert of post industrial detritus. Each of these stark landscapes forms an eerie stage to speculations on social and economic collapse and their repercussions for human existence.

The work of Jesse Jones (born 1978, Dublin, lives in Dublin) primarily takes the form of short films, works which renegotiate the material and ideological structures of cinema. They are concerned with how cultural artefacts can be restaged to reveal embedded histories of dissent – and their contemporary relevance. The artist isolates forms and subjects that can be utilised as tools, both in re-imagining and in directly intervening in the public sphere.

Mahogany 2009 (35 mins 16mm)
Re-scripted from the final scene of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s 1927 opera The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. Jones’s film tells the story of a city outside of society, whose inhabitants are offered a space of ‘infinite freedom’ as long as they pay enough money. This freedom manifests itself in an excessive indulgence of pleasures. Mahogany, shot in the Australian outback, restages this fictitious city in the wake of its collapse, as a dialogue between the city’s architect Begbick, and a Whisper Choir made up of its inhabitants. With the suspension of time, and setting the action in the void of the desert, the video takes the allegorical geographical location and historical moment as a starting point for a critique of present political conditions. Whilst Brecht intended Mahagonny to be a criticism of the false freedoms of the Weimar Republic, Jesse Jones tests the marginality of political gesture and the crisis of forms of viable political action in contemporary post-utopian society.

The Predicament of Man 2010 (3 mins 16mm and digital mixed media)
Using footage shot in an opal mine in Cobber Pedy, Australia, intercut with over a thousand still images that appear momentarily on screen, Jones subliminally contrasts the desolate landscape with flashes of often recognisable 20/21st century icons and events. The Predicament of Man creates an uneasy and foreboding slippage in time that hints at an apocalyptic future. Its title is borrowed from an essay in Limits to Growth, by the economic think tank; The Club of Rome in 1972. The Predicament of Man examines the consequences of exponential growth theories of late capitalism and how they may not only over stretch our resources carrying capacities, but also our sensory capacity to perceive reality itself.

Against The Realm of the Absolute 2011 (12mins 16mm )
Commissioned by Collective gallery Edinburgh, set in a distant future in which a great plague has wiped out the male population of the world. Adapted in part, from Joanna’s Russ’s iconic separatist feminist Sci-Fi novel from 1975, The Female Man. Against the Realm of the Absolute seeks to investigate the multiple narratives of Feminism and how it is inevitably tied to a critic of Capitalism itself. Filmed in the ash lagoons of Cockenzie power station and made in collaboration with a feminist megaphone choir formed by Jones in Edinburgh in 2011, Against The Realm of the Absolute attempts to attend to the multiple possible dytopic future crisis we might face and how, through this very act of fictional speculation, we may in turn open up critiques of our present reality.

Garrett Phelan Talk at IMMA (NCH)

Garret Phelan will be discussing his new work, New Faith Love Song, in the Lecture Room in IMMA at NCH this evening at 5:30pm with Rachel Thomas. Booking details are here. The following information is from the IMMA website:

NEW FAITH LOVE SONG by Garrett Phelan comprises an ambitious off-site live performance sound work which will culminate into an exhibition of sound, photography, drawing, sculpture and animation in the New Galleries at IMMA.

The live performance sound work involves the bell-ringers of both Christ Church Cathedral and St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin city centre, which can be heard from 9.00 to 9.25pm on Thursday, 21 June. It is recommended that the listening location for the sound work is between the two cathedrals on Nicholas Street.

For the sound piece, Phelan will work with the bells of the cathedrals to create a live conversation between these two iconic religious monuments. The bell-ringing dialogue will act as a declaration pronouncing the arrival of ‘New Faith’. This proclamation of ‘New Faith’ is inspired by a loss of faith and the consequential intermediary period of faithlessness, leading to the reconstruction and manifestation of ‘New Faith’. This new work symbolises the realisation of ‘New Faith’ and culminates in a ‘bell-ringing’ celebration that evokes the optimism that can stem from the inexplicable.

Born in 1965 in Dublin, Garrett Phelan has developed a distinctive art practice that directly engages the audience with immersive ambitious site-specific drawing projects, FM radio broadcasts, sculptural installations, photography and animation. He has exhibited widely in Ireland and internationally, including the 11th Lyon Biennial, France; 4th Auckland Triennial, New Zealand; SMART Project Space, Amsterdam; ICA, London; The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh; Kunstverein, Hannover; Art Statements, Basel 39; Manifesta 5; San Sebastian and previously at IMMA.

This exhibition was commissioned by former Director Enrique Juncosa, and is co-curated by him and Rachael Thomas, Senior Curator: Head of Exhibitions, IMMA.

Wine Soak no.5: A Sobering Awareness

In the fifth episode of our series, Jacob Ligvine Kreek visits two art exhibitions currently running in Dublin. At one of them, he finds himself completely sober.

I recently received an invitation to attend a “pop-up” event called Dublin Biennial POP-UP. Quite a grand title for an event that seemed to be situated on the periphery of the city, in the economic wasteland of an unoccupied super-mall, at the Point Village. The journey on the tram out to this dead end of the city is overlooked by the skeleton of the incomplete Anglo Irish Bank headquarters that stands as a reminder of the vacuous cavity left behind after the greed and avarice of the Celtic tiger tycoons ripped the heart out of this Islands economy. I arrived a bit early and found myself wandering through the majestic space of the desolate super-mall, escalators rising and falling, stairs leading down through several floors into the bowels of the earth. There was not the echo of a single sinner’s shoe other than my own. I peered down below where the stairs disappeared into the darkness. I was all alone pondering the hellish blackness that awaits the troubled soul of a nation that is on the brink of falling into the pits of darkest despair, all on account of this wasteful and over eager development. Continue reading…

Duchamp Legacies

Friday 22 June 4pm – 4.45pm
Lecture Room, IMMA at NCH, Earlsfort Terrace

Duchamp Legacies: Francis Halsall, course co-ordinator of MA ACW, traces the multiple legacies of Marcel Duchamp in contemporary art practice and theory. Halsall will unpack the main elements at stake in Duchamp’s practice such as: the readymade, appropriation, intervention, anti-art and identity. The impetus for this discussion is Duchamps’s Rotereleifs/ Optic Disks, 1953, as featured in the exhibition Time out of Mind.

Booking is essential. Free tickets are available online at

Kevin Atherton Book Launch

1-2pm Tuesday 19th June 2012
Temple Bar Gallery + Studios

NCAD lecturer Kevin Atherton’s book, Auto-Interview, will be launched at Temple Bar Gallery + Studios next week. The book is based on an ongoing sequence of video interviews that Kevin has conducted with himself. The following info is from the press release:

FLOOD is delighted to announce the publication of Kevin Atherton’s Auto-Interview, extending a lifelong series of work where the artist has interviewed himself on video.

Auto-Interview is interesting on many levels, as a means of asking who is doing what in the business of encountering and interpreting an artwork, but also from an historical point of view – the interview provides an ideal opportunity to look back into the beginnings of key practices, such as video art, new media, work on television, etc. The interview is also about an artist being, or at least trying to be, brutally honest about their own practice, its relevance, context and meaning, and if indeed it should be any of these things.

This publication is the first of a new series, with future publications forthcoming on a yearly basis. Auto- Interview retails for €10 / £8.

KEVIN ATHERTON (born Isle of Man in 1950) is an artist and fine art educator with an ongoing interest in the relationship between the virtual and the fictional. Based in Dublin, he is the Head of the Department of Postgraduate Pathways in the Faculty of Fine Art at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD). He has exhibited in museums and galleries through out Europe and North America, most recently in 2012 in ‘Remote Control’ at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. In 2009 his video installation ‘In Two Minds – Past Version’ was included in ‘The Studio Sessions’ at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Also in 2009 his video work was included in ‘Changing Channels – Art and Television’ at the Museum of Modern Art Vienna, and at Tate Britain in ‘Rewind and Play’. Since the early eighties he has carried out over a dozen large-scale public sculpture commissions throughout Britain and Ireland including in 2009 ‘Another Sphere’, a surveillance sculpture, in Ballymun. In 210 he completed a PhD in the Faculty of Visual Culture at NCAD.

FLOOD is a Dublin-based contemporary art project curated by Paul McAree. The project was initiated to provide opportunities for the presentation and dissemination of artwork in alternative ways. FLOOD aims to develop its presence in Dublin city, from printed projects to organising exhibitions in temporary locations.


Won-Nil: Nevan Lahart at TBG+S

Opening: Thursday 14th June 6-8 pm
Exhibition Runs: 15th June to 25th July

An exhibition of new work by Nevan Lahart opens at Temple Bar Gallery and Studios this coming Thursday. The following information is from TBG+S website:

Lahart makes irreverent social commentaries in his work, often highly politically charged and full of humour. However this use of wit and irony is always matched with a profound investigation into the history of art and contemporary art’s position within the ‘real’ world.

About fifteen years ago, Nevan Lahart submitted a proposal for a ‘percent for art’ public art commission. The proposed piece was to be situated on a motorway roundabout in Co. Cork. His proposal was an attempt to commemorate a collective national experience which could be seen to have symbolically kick started the 15 good years in Ireland, known universally as the Celtic Tiger. The proposal was rejected.

Over the intervening period, he stuck to the idea as one that was still worth doing, even as the opportunities to present public art works – ostensibly under the Irish per cent for art scheme – faded with the recession. In this time, Lahart has also come to the realisation that public art projects are a ‘pain in the arse’. With this in mind he will make a 1/3 scale maquette of the roundabout sculpture, serving as a memorial to more heady days when people came home as opposed to leaving home.

Lahart will also show a scale model of a more recent failed public art proposal for Temple Bar Gallery + Studios. It involves two of Ireland’s most prominent public figures, one of whom is on record as a self declared Hero. He will also unveil the first installment of his new ‘Value for Money Paintings that Won’t Get You Far’ series.

Despite the disparate nature of the work, there is a constant thread tying the various elements together – a questioning of where we as a society find ourselves culturally, both in terms of popular culture, and in the realm of the artworld, and quite often the disparity between the two. However, despite Lahart’s willingness to poke a finger in our cultural eye, he is also keen to show us the beauty of certain moments in our shared cultural experiences.

In 2012, Temple Bar Gallery + Studios places a renewed emphasis on production. This exhibition is one of two commissioned solo exhibitions by Irish artists in 2012/13.

Born 1973 in Kilkenny, Lahart lives and works in Dublin. Recent exhibitions include: Steve Turner Contemporary, Los Angeles; Dublin Contemporary 2011; The Irish Museum of Modern Art 2011; Solus Nua, Washington DC 2010; Royal Hibernian Academy, Gallagher Gallery 2010 and the Tucson Museum of Art, Arizona 2009.

Won-Nil is curated by Paul McAree and Rayne Booth

Traces Of The Real@Plugd

An exhibition of song exposure photographs by Hugh McCabe
Dates: Friday 8th June to Friday 6th July 2012
Opening Times: 11AM to 7PM every day (excluding Sundays)
Location: Plugd, Triskel Arts Centre, Tobin St, Cork City

song exposure [sawng ek-spoh-zher]

a photograph created by opening the shutter at the start of a song and closing it at the end

Following successful runs at the Fumbally Exchange and the Workmans Club in Dublin in 2011, the Traces Of The Real exhibition will open at Plugd at the Triskel Arts Centre in June. Traces Of The Real is an exhibition of song exposure photographs taken by Hugh McCabe in various music venues in Ireland and the UK. A song exposure photograph is a photograph of the performance of a song, created by opening the shutter at the start of the song, and then closing it at the end. The resulting images capture the stages and equipment in vivid detail but cast the performers and audiences as fluid, transient and ghostlike presences in front of the lens. The aim of the series is to explore the notion of temporality within photographic representation, and to question the idea that photographs should correspond to discrete, frozen moments in time.

The inspiration came from renowned Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Theaters series. Sugimoto set up his camera at the back of ornate movie palaces in New York and other US cities, opened his shutter at the start of the film, and closed it at the end. The light from the projected movie becomes the light source for the photographic exposure and illuminates all corners of the theater. Traces Of The Real started as an exploration of how this idea could be applied to live music concerts and evolved into an attempt to answer the following questions. Can one take a photograph of a song? If so, what would it look like?

The photographs were shot in a number of different venues: including Vicar Street, The Village, The Button Factory, Whelans (all in Dublin); Triskel Christchurch (Cork) and ATP (Minehead, UK). A wide variety of artists were photographed in this manner: including Adebisi Shank, Spook Of The Thirteenth Lock, The Ex, Si Schroeder, Jello Biafra, Dan Deacon, The Silver Mt Zion Memorial Orchestra, The Gloaming and many more. The images are created using a mix of old and new technology. They are shot using a large format film camera fixed onto a tripod. This produces a 5” by 4” negative which is digitized to give an image of enormously high resolution. These images are then printed by fine art printer David Monahan and mounted onto aluminum compound (dibond) panels.

Traces Of The Real will open in Plugd on Friday June 8th and run until the beginning of July.


Hugh McCabe was born and lives in Dublin. He has spent more than fifteen years involved in the music scene, mainly as a musician but also releasing records and organizing gigs, before turning to photography in recent years. He completed the Certificate in Photography and Digital Imaging at NCAD in 2010 and is currently a participant on the MA Art In The Contemporary World (NCAD). He has participated in a number of group exhibitions. Traces Of The Real is his first solo exhibition. He lectures in Creative Digital Media at the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown.

Contact: Hugh McCabe

087 2995233

NCAD MFA and ADW Exhibition

The exhibition of graduates of the MFA (Masters in Fine Art) and MA ADW (Masters Art In The Digital World) will preview this coming Saturday at 4pm in the Steambox on School St, Dublin 8. The show will then run until the 17th of June and the opening hours are Mon – Fri (12-7), Saturdays (12-5) and Sundays (2-5). In addition to this, at 6pm tonight in Rua Red, ADW student Mona Gamil will be doing an interactive dance piece entitled Notes From A Rehearsal/Standby.

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