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Paper Visual Art at BX

MA ACW alumni Rebecca O’Dwyer and Adrian Duncan are participating in the following event, which takes place at Belfast Exposed this Thursday.

To celebrate the inclusion of Paper Visual Art’s recent printed edition in the Belfast Exposed bookshop, there will be an evening of readings and launch at BX on Thursday 1 November from 6-7.30pm. On the night, there will be readings by Rebecca O’Dwyer and Adrian Duncan, and the launch of three Paper tickets written by Belfast-based artists and writers: Alissa Kleist, Colin Darke, and Dorothy Hunter.

Please contact: E: or T: 02890 230 965 to book a place.

Belfast Exposed
The Exchange Place
23 Donegall Street

Autonomous Practices, Autonomous Objects, Autonomous Institutions

A debate on autonomy hosted by MA Art in the Contemporary World in the context of Towards a Newer Laocoön, a solo exhibition by Sarah Pierce at NCAD Gallery, commissioned by the Irish Film Institute.

Time: Tue 6th Nov. 2012, 5:30pm
Venue: NCAD Gallery, National College of Art and Design, Thomas Street, Dublin, Ireland

Participants include: Basic Space, Adrian Duncan, Paul Ennis, Vaari Claffey, Declan Long, Francis Halsall, Emma Mahony, Glen Loughran, Isabel Nolan, Garrett Phelan, Sarah Pierce. Places are limited and booking is essential. Email – for reservations.

In 1972 Robert Smithson published the following statement in the Documenta 5 catalogue as his only contribution to the exhibition.

Cultural confinement takes place when a curator imposes his own limits on an art exhibition, rather than asking an artist to set his limits. Artists are expected to fit into fraudulent categories. Some artists imagine they’ve got a hold on this apparatus, which in fact has got a hold of them. As a result, they end up supporting a cultural prison that is out of their control. Artists themselves are not confined, but their output is. Museums, like asylums and jails, have wards and cells- in other words, neutral rooms called ‘galleries’

Read in the context of a subsequent advert which Smithson co-wrote in Artforum (June 1972) condemning outright not only Documenta but curated shows in general it can be seen clearly as an antagonistic response to the curatorial strategies of Harald Szeemann in the name of autonomy. Just the previous year Clement Greenberg (not an obvious ally to Smithson) made a claim which, at first glance, seems very similar:

Art is autonomous; its there for its own human sake, sufficient to its own human self, but this doesn’t seal it off from society or history. What its autonomy does mean is that it serves humanity on its own terms, i.e. by providing aesthetic value or quality. (Homemade Aesthetics).

And more recently, Bruno Latour has questioned the autonomy of the artist:

We think that if politics is the art of the possible, as the saying goes, then we need political art to open this up, this ‘possible’ or to multiply this possibility. So the appearance of an avant-garde, autonomous artist expressing a deep insight without inquiries, without knowledge of the world, with no connection with science, that is certainly out.(interviewed by F.Halsall in Society and Space)

During an evening of discussion participants including artists, philosophers, gallerists and activists will present alternating arguments for and against “autonomy” in aesthetic, artistic and cultural practices.

Digging the Monto: An archaeology of tenement life and the 1913 Lockout

The LAB / Foley Street / Dublin 1.
25th Oct – 10th Nov 2012
Exhibition Open 10am to 5pm (closed Sundays)

An exhibition and associated series of events focusing on the history of the Foley Street area, with particular reference to the centenary of the 1913 lockout, opens this week at The Lab. The exhibition is the result of a residency by Dr Thomas Kador, suuported by the Heritage Council, and features collections from Terry Fagan and Martin Coffey. On Thursday 25th at 6pm there will be a free event discussing approaches to commemorating the events of 1913-1916. Further details as follows from the Lab website.

Drawing on the results of recent archaeological excavations undertaken by a community archaeology group led by Dr Thomas Kador, the show will feature a variety of visual displays including old photographs from the area, artefacts, and historical census records. The exhibition is supported by a number of free talks, a walking tour and a discussions focusing on Dublin tenement life, the 1913 Lockout, and the proposed commemorations for the forthcoming centenary. Highlights include a panel discussion, From the Lockout to the Rising and the Treaty: (How) should we commemorate? (6pm on Thursday 25th October), and a discussion on Slumland Dublin (6pm on Tuesday 30th October). There will also be a walking tour of the area formerly known as the ‘Monto’ at 11am on Saturday 10th November, led by local historian Terry Fagan.

Free Programme:

Thursday 25th October 6pm
From the Lockout to the Rising and the Treaty: (How) should we commemorate?
Chaired by Charles Duggan (DCC) / Padraig Yeates (Lockout Historian) / Pat Cooke (UCD) / Mary Muldowney (TCD) / Roisin Higgins (Boston College), Helen Carey (Limerick City Gallery)

Thursday 1st November 6pm – Slumland Dublin
Chris Corlett (National Monuments Service) Darkest Dublin / Catriona Crow (National Archives) The 1911 Census

Tuesday 6th November 6pm – The Lockout and the Monto
Chaired by Dr Lisa Godson (NCAD/GradCam) / Padraig Yeats The assault on Corporation Buildings / Terry Fagan Oral histories of the Lockout

Saturday 10th November 11am and 1pm – Monto Walking Tour
with Terry Fagan at 11am followed by the Closing Celebration with Charles Duggan, Dublin City Council Heritage Officer, at 1pm

IMMA + IAF – Agents of Architecture | Eva Franch

Wednesday 31 October 7.00 – 8.30pm, Lecture Room, IMMA at NCH, Earlsfort Terrace

The Irish Museum of Modern Art in paternship with the Irish Architecture Foundation present the series Agents of Archtecture. The following information comes from the IMMA website:

Agents of Architecture is an ongoing series of national and international talks aimed at expanding the practice of architecture to include people who work with architecture either by curating it, or designing it, or redefining it, or questioning it.

Talk by architect, researcher, and teacher, Eva Franch on both her practice and Directorship of Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York; A non-profit gallery committed to the advancement of innovative positions in architecture, art and design, and explores vital issues in art and architecture through a multidisciplinary programme of exhibitions and events.

Followed by a discussion chaired by Declan Long, Co-Director of the ‘Art in the Contemporary World’ Masters Programme at the National College of Art & Design in Dublin.

All tickets are free, and can be booked from the IMMA Website.

John Graham Talk

The artist John Graham will be discussing his current exhibition Phase, which is running at the Green On Red gallery, this coming Friday (October 26th) at 5pm. The exhibition has been running since the 12th of October and is described as follows on the Green On Red website:

John Graham’s practice has its foundation in drawing and printmaking. Through a combination of autographic and mechanical process his formally reduced works unite non-representational imagery with metaphorical content. Process based actions give evidence to a contradictory sense of the haphazard and an unwaveringly austere graphic style is offset by a desire for openness and intimations of vulnerability.

His works using sound and video projections include, Projections/Plans/Elevations (Location A), 2006, a site-specific video projection that conflated the sites of production and presentation. An interest in film and the history of cinema informs Returning the DVD, 2007, where a journey to the DVD store becomes a meditation on film and how its formal devices become implicated in everyday life. The multi-channel sound and video installation, Opening Sequence … , 2008, was made specifically for the Green on Red Gallery with real and staged events being filmed and replayed within the gallery space.

An open-ended project, List, 2008 –, began with a sculpture containing a list of names. Evolving to become a host structure for a series of engagements with those listed, it provides a framework for an artistic strategy that reconsiders the emphasis on the subjective centre (the individual artist) in art making. (see

Other works have included social interactions, Eight Hours Project, Project Arts Centre, 2010, A Catalyst Taxi (with Rachel Gilbourne), Five Lamps Festival, 2010, and curatorial projects, Invisible (with Margaret O’Brien and Oliver Dowling) for the Black Church Print Studio, 2010, and Studio, for Formwork Studio, 2011.

Graham’s most recent work has seen a return to printmaking as a primary means. A series of large etchings, ‘Abat-Voix’, contain starkly reduced compositions exploring fundamental characteristics of the etching medium. “An etching is a trace of destruction – the acid destroys the material it encounters – a history of process evidenced by its ruins”.

Future Perfect – Call For Submissions

Future Perfect | Call for Submissions
Deadline: 11am, 2nd November 2012

Future Perfect is a open submission exhibition to be held at the Hugh Land addressing the theme of the future and/or the lack of same. Looks like a really interesting opportunity. The following information is from Visual Artists Ireland:

The future and the lack of has been citied as the basis for a number of exhibitions in Ireland and Europe in the last year. Ideas concerning the Modernist project, Idealism and Utopia from a post-Post-Modern position have come into common circulation amongst artists. But can we still envision a future? Using the linguistic classification of Future Perfect as a starting point and as a play on words, we are asking artists to submit work or proposals that investigate or respond to all of the aforementioned ideas. This will (ideally!) include political, philosophical, aesthetic, and historical concerns.

Artists in all mediums (including performance and painting) are invited to submit work and proposals for work for an exhibition at the Hugh Lane Dublin City Gallery, Gallery 8. The exhibition will be up for 1 week. Work will be chosen based on its feasibility, artistic quality and its relevance to the theme. 2D work should be easily hung and we ask that the time constraints be taken into consideration, but other than that, there are no limitations to the size or scope of work. The exhibition will be adjudicated by Jim Ricks as impartially as possible.

Submission process: Send a tweet with image and/or link to @therealjimricks or alternatively an email proposal no longer than 140 characters with a single image and/or link can be sent to The submission fee is €2 and must be paid with a €2 coin. Please post this fee separately to Jim Ricks, Studio 3, Temple Bar Gallery & Studios, 5 – 9 Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Republic of Ireland. All submissions with fee are due before 11am November 2nd, 2012.

Biopolitics, Society and Performance

‘Biopolitics, Society and Performance’ at Trinity College Dublin

Conference dates: 31.10.2012 to 02.11.2012 / Registration (Postgrad): €50.00

The Arts Technology Research Lab and the Long Room Hub, Trinity College Dublin are co-hosting the conference and symposium Biopolitics, Society and Performance which coincides with the Dublin City of Science 2012. The following is from the biopoliticstcd website:

Premiere 2011 Manchester, dir. Robert Wilson

The conference invites you to reconsider the notion of biopolitics and its recent transformations in theory and the contemporary world. The term biopolitics was first defined by Michel Foucault in his book The Will to Knowledge and his lectures in the Collège de France. For Foucault, biopolitics means the technologies of political power that allow for the control of the human population as a biological species. He demonstrates how the population is controlled biologically as well as by disciplinary means, resulting in “a bestialization of man achieved through the most sophisticated political techniques.”

Biopolitics has become a highly controversial philosophical concept today, elaborated by such leading figures as Giorgio Agamben, Rosi Braidotti, Judith Butler, Roberto Esposito, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Maurizio Lazzarato, Thomas Lemke, and Paulo Virno. Giorgio Agamben relates the term to the legislative aspects of power and the emergence of the totalitarian states of the twentieth century. For Agamben the inclusion of “bare life” in the political realm constitutes the original nucleus of sovereign power. Thus, the political system has the power to decide not only who deserves to have “human rights”, but also which life counts as “human” and worth living.

Many contemporary artists are concerned with the implications of biopolitics. Their work attempts to expose the control mechanisms that affect human behaviour and limit human rights, while exploring bioethical questions in relation to human tissue and genetic modification. Artists including Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr at Symbiotica, Eduardo Kac and Kira O’Reilly explore bio-art practices and new frontiers of body art.

To find out more about the speakers and topics, go to the conference programme and abstract pages.

The Tissue Culture and Art Project

Merlin James at the Kerlin

Exhibition Runs: 19 October – 24 November
Opening: 18th October 6pm

A new exhibition of work by Merlin James opens in the Kerlin Gallery this week. The following information is from the Kerlin website.

‘…James takes painting’s multiple and overlapping histories partly as his subject matter and partly as a point of departure. The paintings are stylistically promiscuous – it is hard to describe or even imagine a “typical James.” Yet seen together they not only make perfect sense but also articulate something of the infinite freedom and the stubborn vitality of the medium.’
(Matthew Higgs, Art Forum, December 2011.)

In recent years Merlin James has made paintings often on semi-transparent supports, and with picture frames that are integral to the work. These quasi-conventional frames, and the stretcher bar structures partly visible through them, may be fabricated from humble, seemingly salvaged materials, pressed into service as ‘fancy’, high-art objects.

Extending James’s long-standing investigations into the nature of painting, the works continue to feature his particular erotic, topographic, architectural or abstract motifs – images that both function as elements in his aesthetic experiment and build to a poetic account of human experience. Writing in Frieze (November 2011), Ara Merjian notes how in James the environment is presented ‘through a baffle of layers both material and metaphysical’ in work that is ‘stubbornly, mischievously paradoxical’ and that ‘vacillates between the cerebral and the basic stuff of paint’.

James also continues to paint on canvas, frequently using hair, sawdust and other unconventional substances as well as paint. Works may be apparently abstract, or may feature diverse ‘subjects’ – heads, animals, emblematic figures, canals, bridges, skies. Small vernacular buildings of uncertain vintage – mills, homesteads, old factories, tower-blocks – are often scattered through James’ pictures, either as representations in paint or as miniature ‘model’ buildings made from wood off-cuts and fragments and physically incorporated into the work. Expansive spaces are evoked, and the vistas can suggest dream- or memoryscapes, or landscapes seen in passing.

James lives and works in Glasgow. Solo exhibitions have included shows at the National Gallery, Wales (1995), Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge (1996), Mummery & Schnelle, London (2003, 2006, 2008, 2010) and Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York (2002, 2008, 2011), New York Studio School (2007) as well as Kerlin Gallery (2002, 2008). In 2007, Merlin James represented Wales at the 52nd Venice Biennale. He has been a visiting lecturer at many universities in Britain and the USA and in 1996 gave the Kingston University Stanley Picker Lecture at the Tate Gallery entitled ‘The Non-Existence of Art Criticism’. In 2002, he was the first holder of the Alex Katz Chair in Painting at The Cooper Union, New York. James is represented in many public and private collections worldwide. In 2010, James received the Scottish Arts Council Visual Artists’ Award. He recently held a solo show in the Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (2012).

KRF Notebook Project 2012

Kathy O’Leary writes about the KRF Notebook Project.

I arrived at the opening of KRF Notebook Project in Newbridge, Kildare after eventually escaping the challenge of the traffic from the merging N7/M7 out of Dublin following my MA course, Art in the Contemporary World at NCAD on Thomas Street.

Once I negotiated the ‘blue badge’ parking and the inclining ramp outside the Riverbank Arts Centre, which someone was kind enough to help me get up. I entered to receive a warm reception with a brightly coloured, cosy cafe, treating me to a great cappuccino. I sat amongst Brenda Brady, Arts Assistant, Kildare County County Council, Susan Boyle, curator of the exhibition, Nicola Dunne, Arts in Health Specialist and Lucina Russell, Kildare County Council Arts Officer, who cordially welcomed me while surrounded by many others who had made the effort of attending the night.

Ann Egan, a multi award-winning poet, who lives in Clane and has held many writing residencies, introduced us to a vivid live reading of her poetry before I took the lift to view the exhibition of over a 100 artists notebooks. I gasped with excitement, as I entered to see such creativity held within the notebooks laid out on several different tables in the space. How refreshing to be able to access an exhibition in such a way that you could open and touch the art works to discover the inner workings of an artists’ practice and the journey’s traveled while creating the notebook. Continue reading…

On Discovering Echinoids …

Roisin Power Hackett reviews Anthony Hackett’s exhibition Beyond Boarders, which took place in The Back Loft on the 12th and 13th of October 2012.

This review could be seen as some sort of twisted nepotism. The artist, Anthony Hackett, is my uncle and the gallery, The Back Loft, is one I’m currently volunteering for (or collaborating with). Anthony Hackett was the person who inspired me to become an artist, or to go to Art College at least. When I was three years old he once babysat my little brother and I. To pass the time he got us to paint, using poster paints, red yellow and blue. He got me to put my bare feet into the paint and walk on green and white striped rolls of computer paper that my dad had. This is one of my most vivid childhood memories because it started my love affair with the visceral squelchy colourful medium of paint. Perhaps I do owe him a good review …

Anthony has a BA in Fine Art from DIT and has been working as a tutor in Fine Art at Ballyfermot. He has been painting on an off for the past number of years. This exhibition has given him focus. The last time I remember him having an exhibition, I was in my early teens, but again that’s just my memory. His paintings certainly use that visceral quality of the medium, and for him it is all about process.

The subject matter and images arrive from my subconscious, through my pushing, playing, removing and scratching of the paint.
Hackett, Anthony, (2012), ‘The Back Loft Events’, Artist’s Statement, 15/10/2012

The images come by chance. In this respect the artist’s intentions can be seen in his work – his people, his landscapes, buildings and animals are all very evidently formed by chance. This can be seen in Dumped , a painting of a fish which looks like a painting trembling on the edge of abstraction. In On Discovering Echinoids, the cliffs or the rocks (in Anthony’s paintings one can never be quite sure of the perspective – whether you the viewer are a giant or a fairy) shape the person’s face. The figures in his paintings are unashamedly simple brush strokes – his paintings follow an Irish tradition of expressionist painting, including the work of Jack B Yeats, Camille Souter and Brian Maguire. His work without a doubt is different to the work of these artists, but also similar – it is the brush stroke, the gesture. This is where Anthony’s paintings fit in to something.

Narrative is a big component of Anthony’s work. His paints, scratched and rubbed onto his ground, tell a story. This for me is the most dynamic thing about his work because narrative, even though it is currently making a come-back in art, has been seen as old fashioned, as old as the bible. Even now in our post Post-modern world Clement Greenberg’s ideas are cemented into art. Greenberg believed that the ‘use of characteristic methods of a discipline to criticize the discipline itself’1 was the way art had to be. His view was that you don’t mix storytelling and paint. They are two separate mediums with separate characteristics. Hybrid art wasn’t an option. Since then literariness in painting has been looked down upon by the art world. However, it never really went away, as it was there in the fifties with Cy Twombly’s abstract expressionism. Anthony’s art is based on storytelling; his paintings talk about political issues, social justice, the environment and personal memories.

On a trip to the beach at Rosses Point Sligo, Anthony noticed unusual spherical objects similar to shells, which he’d never seen before. They were fragile things, which could be easily crushed into a thousand pieces in your hands. These objects he later discovered were Echinoids, the fossils of sea urchins. From this story comes his painting On Discovering Echinoids. This reminds me of the time I discovered echinoids. This was also at Rosses Point and I remember how the fossil crumbled in my coat pocket. At the time, I was very happy, and head over heels in love… Narratives in paintings conjure images in peoples’ minds, evoke memories. Narrative art is a jumping off point, allowing for a continuation of a story by the viewer, for a coincidence to occur. ‘As soon as a fact is narrated … finally outside of any function other than that of the very practice of the symbol itself, this disconnection occurs, the voice loses its origin, the author enters into his own death’2 and the painting is given over to the viewer.

Whether Anthony agrees with my speculation on his paintings or not, it doesn’t matter. As author/artist he has no control over his work. His art has now entered the public sphere.

  1. Greenberg, Clement, (1960), ‘Clement Greenberg’, Modernist Painting,
  2. Barthes, Roland (1977), ‘Death of the Author’, Death of the Author, 15/10/2012

Roisin Power Hackett has recently graduated from the National College of Art and Design and is currently doing the MA Art in the Contemporary World at the same college. She has published a literary magazine in NCAD known as ‘The Kite’ and has an art blog at


Japanese experimental music legend, Keiji Haino, makes a rare appearance in Dublin this week. Haino has been a key figure in avant-garde music circles for decades but his only previous performance in Ireland was a three-night stand in the Project Arts Centre in 2001. At that time he gave a solo percussion performance, played as part of an improv group, and collaborated with a local traditional musician. This time around he is bringing his celebrated power-rock trio Fushitsusha to Dublin. An overwhelming and intense collision of free improvisation, psychedelic rock and extreme noise, Fushitsusha are a unique experience not to be missed by anyone interested in the outer reaches of music and sound. This probably won’t happen again in any of our lifetimes. Fushitsusha play The Village on Wexford Street on Tuesday 9th of October. Bring earplugs.

Becoming – Alice Maher

Opening: Fri Oct 5th 6pm
Exhibition Runs until Feb 3rd

A major mid-career retrospective of the work of Alice Maher opens tonight at IMMA’s Earlsfort Terrace space. The show encompasses painting, sculpture, photography and animation and is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with writings from Penelope Curtis, Anne Enright, Ed Krčma, David Lloyd, Catherine Morris and exhibition curator, Seán Kissane. The following details are from the IMMA website:

Becoming is a mid-career retrospective of the work of Alice Maher, one of Ireland’s most respected and influential artists. Including painting, sculpture, photography and animation, the exhibition will include seminal works such as Berry Dress, 1994, from the IMMA Collection; Familiar, 1995, from the Crawford Art Gallery, and many other works held in IMMA’s own Collection. The title Becoming, hints at some of the main preoccupations of the artist and the themes that will be explored in the exhibition. A dress can be becoming or flattering; one’s behaviour can become you, as you act in an appropriate way within a social construct; but becoming also points at a point of transformation where something becomes something else, Maher’s work has always placed itself at this nexus, a point of metamorphosis where there is continuous flux as states shift and the familiar becomes otherworldly or unknown – where the inappropriate and the unacceptable are constantly called into play.

Maher’s work is itself in a state of continuous metamorphosis as her themes and interests have manifested themselves in differing states during the past twenty years. Material transformation is evident as the artist has interrogated her subject through the use of painting, drawing, sculpture, video, and more recently digital technologies and new media. Through constant change, reworking and examination, Maher uncovers evermore complex readings and meanings of the world around us.

Born in 1956, Alice Maher studied at the University of Limerick and the Crawford College of Art, Cork. She was awarded a Master’s degree in Fine Art from the University of Ulster and shortly after a Fulbright Scholarship to San Francisco Art Institute. Her work involves many different media including painting, drawing, sculpture, print, photography and installation. She has exhibited widely in Ireland, England and the United States, and represented Ireland in the 22nd São Paolo Bienal. In 2008, the David Nolan Gallery in New York hosted a solo exhibition of new drawings and sculptures titled Hypnerotomachia. In 2007, a large survey show of her work, Natural Artifice, was held at the Brighton and Hove Museums. Also in that year she completed a major drawing installation, The Night Garden, for the Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin.

A programme of talks and related events is also planned. Full details of this can be found here.

animal OPERA – Fiona Woods

Opening: Friday Oct 19th 4-8pm
Exhibition Runs until Nov 1st
Artist Talk: Wed Oct 31st 5pm

Former ACW student, Fiona Woods, will be exhibiting a new body of work, entitled animal OPERA, at Leitrim Sculpture Centre, from October 19th – November 1st. For those too far away to travel, there will be an exhibition website launching on October 19th as well. Full details below from Fiona:

animal OPERA is a body of new work created as a result of an Artist Residency Award at Leitrim Sculpture Centre, 2012. Woods has here returned to her roots in sculpture, employing a range of material processes, including the materiality of sound, to generate a series of installations and wall/floor based objects across the three spaces of the gallery.

The work in the exhibition focuses on a field of interactions between humans and other animals. Continuities and connections across animal and material forms are explored, mapping an alternative topology of human/ animal relations. The artist engages critically with the role that ‘looking at animals’ plays in our attitude to the non-human world: lenses, blind spots and systems of notation are explored visually and aurally.

animal OPERA is presented as a gallery exhibition and a website, including an essay by the artist and an audio work for dissemination through web channels, co-authored with Andrew Collins. The website will launch on October 19th.

An opening reception for the exhibition will take place from 4 – 8pm on Friday October 19th. animal OPERA will culminate with an artist talk on Wednesday October 31st at 5pm in the gallery.

Upcoming Photography Exhibitions in London

Over the coming months there will be an unofficial photography season in London, with major exhibitions at the National Gallery, Tate Modern and the National Portrait Gallery. Seduced by Art at the National Gallery looks like it will be the highlight ( though the TaylorWessing Prize Exhibition ( at the National Portrait Gallery is always unmissable. Also, from October 10th, Tate Modern will be hosting a major street photography show featuring the work of William Klein and Daido Moriyama. Here is a list of London galleries that specialize in photography: Thanks to Denis Mortell for the heads-up on this.

Malevolentos – New Paintings by Alison Pilkington

Opening reception: Friday 5th Oct 7pm to 9pm.
Exhibition runs to 16th Nov
Opening times: Wed –Thu 12- 6pm by appointment
Cake contemporary arts c/o Curragh Camp Post Office Curragh Camp co. Kildare

Alison Pilkington’s new show at Cake Contemporary Arts is a presentation of her Practice based PhD research in painting at National College Art & Design Dublin entitled “Unfamiliar Terrain” – An Investigation into the Uncanny in Painting”. She was recently awarded a British Institution award for painting at the Royal Academy Summer Show, London 2012. She has been shortlisted for the Marmite Painting Prize & exhibition, which will tour the UK from December 2012 to June 2013.

“The uncanny, which is associated with a feeling of disorientation, mild panic or confusion when faced with something strangely familiar has been a frequent subject of the visual arts and literature. In this body of work I am interested in what Freud termed “the friendly aspect” of the uncanny. Strangely familiar yet comic images have the potential to disturb or disorientate. In this show “Malevolentos” I attempt to explore this aspect of the uncanny and invite the viewer to consider how this ‘un-homely’ feeling occurs through painting. Malevolentos is my own hybrid term that refers to a mis-heard phrase, a half- remembered image of something familiar yet also unfamiliar bordering on sinister. I believe the context in which the viewer encounters these paintings adds to their uncanny feeling, and Cake contemporary exhibition space, and the Curragh village can be considered uncanny or ‘unhomely’ places themselves.”

Alison Pilkington, September 2012

On the preview evening, Cake will be running a free return bus service from Dublin @ 6:30 pm to Cake. To book a place, please email Please book early.

086- 3905216

Assistant Visual Arts Curator Opportunity at Project Arts Centre

The Project Arts Centre are currently seeking to take on an Assistant Visual Arts Curator/Curatorial Intern for 2012-2013. The deadline for applications is the 25th of October and the post is part of the JobBridge National Internship scheme. Full details on the position and on how to go about applying can be found in the document below.

2012_2013 Assistant Curator_Project Arts Centre

Root by Bea McMahon

Bea McMahon’s new exhibition, Root, will open at Temple Bar Gallery & Studios on Thursday 11th of October at 6pm. It’s a solo exhibition of newly commissioned work, the centrepiece of which is a moving image-work shot in The Netherlands. The following information is from the TBG&S website:

Temple Bar Gallery + Studios presents Root a solo exhibition of newly commissioned work by Irish artist Bea McMahon.

The centrepiece of this exhibition is amoving imagework, shot at Het Twiske, an untouched Dutch polder landscape near Amsterdam. McMahon’s use of this landscape, with its lack of clear boundaries between water and land, is a reflection of her curiosity about the surface of things.

McMahon’s interest in mathematics, Pythagorean theory, Greek myth, and boundaries such as skin and water are also manifested in the work. Ideasabout transfer across boundaries in turn evoke the concept of the metaphor; the word metaphor coming from the greek meta-”over, across” + pherein “to carry, bear”. McMahon has described the work as ‘an examination of the light interchange at the surface of things – I like to think of the site of the boundary of a body as a soft crossing or thoughtful crossing.’

The significance of the title Root, can be found in its homonyms;a branching plant root to explain visually the theory of evolution or diversification, and the root of a number which first embedded irrational numbers inbetween the rationals and upset the Pythagorean’s theory of divine correspondence between numbers and the universe. It is alleged that Hippasus, on discovering √2, was thrown off a boat and drowned by his Pythagorean companions.

McMahon’s artistic practice handles readymade conventionsand concepts and reworks themin a way which invitesassociations of an order somewhere between irreverant and irrelevant. Her work brings something that is already part of reality to a form, and as such is at the service of real things rather than fictions.The real world has a variable density, depending on the quality of its perception. There is singular curiosity together with a sense of conviction that pushes Bea McMahon to interrogate physical phenomenon, and a certain talent, with which she gives a form to invisible but also essential layers of the real world.In acceding to her vision she induces in the viewer a fleeting feeling of ‘I believe you, but I’m not sure quite what I’m believing.’

Bea McMahon’s recent exhibitions include All humans do, White Box, New York, 2012, A series of Navigations, The Model, Sligo, 2012, Warp and Woof at the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow, 2011, at Flat Time House, Peckham, London 2011, Nothing is Impossible at The Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh 2010, True Complex at Void, Derry and The Curated Visual Artist’s Award at The Douglas Hyde Gallery, both 2008. She is currently a resident at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam. She is represented by the Green on Red Gallery, Dublin and is included in the collections of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Office of Public Works and the Arts Council of Ireland.

This exhibition was producated with the assistance of the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam.
Curated by Rayne Booth

Sarah Pierce – Towards a Newer Laocoön

Opening view 6pm, Thursday 4th Oct 2012.
Exhibition continues, 5th Oct – 7th Nov 2012, Mon-Fri 10am-5pm

Sarah Pierce’s new solo exhibition, Towards a Newer Laocoön, opens at the NCAD Gallery this Thursday. It was commissioned by the IFI in collaboration with NCAD Gallery and curated by Sarah Glennie. It consists of a three-part project including archival materials from the IFI Archives, NIVAL, and the latest chapter of her on-going work, The Question Would be the Answer to the Question, Are you happy?. Full information as follows from NCAD website:

NCAD Gallery presents Towards a Newer Laocoön, a solo exhibition by Sarah Pierce commissioned by the Irish Film Institute (IFI) in collaboration with NCAD Gallery.

Sarah Pierce’s Towards a Newer Laocoön, an exhibition of new work at NCAD Gallery is the result of an IFI commission funded by Per Cent for Art and curated by Sarah Glennie (IFI Director, 2009-2012). For this exhibition Pierce will exhibit a three-part project that includes archival materials from the Irish Film Institute’s Irish Film Archives, the NIVAL collection at NCAD, and the latest chapter of her on-going work, The Question Would be the Answer to the Question, Are you happy?

Towards a Newer Laocoön reflects Pierce’s interest in ways of organising, from student government to the civil rights movement. In this exhibition Pierce focuses on an intense moment of dissent at NCAD in 1969, when students damaged the academy’s iconic Laocoön sculpture, among other academic artworks. Damaged works have been brought out of NCAD storage for the exhibition and are accompanied by news clippings from the NIVAL collection. These physical fragments of past events are accompanied by viewing stations showing IFI Irish Film Archive footage that reflect Pierce’s extensive research period in the Archive that hinged on the years 1959-1979. This period in the Archive is represented through a predominance of amateur footage and two major collections of contemporary indigenous documentarie and newsreels – Radharc and Gael Linn.

The artist’s process of selection often involves a curatorial approach, where she carefully selects and displays items from an archive and shows these materials alongside her own artworks. For Towards a Newer Laocoön the archival material is accompanied by a new work that relates to materials in both archives, namely an idea of foreignness and student culture, and how these concepts ‘transmit’ over several generations. This filmed piece is the fourth and latest chapter of her work, The Question Would be the Answer to the Question, Are you happy?

For each chapter of this project Pierce invites a small group of local university students to a screening of Chronique d’un été, (1961) directed by Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin. The film screening, in French with English subtitles, is followed by a roundtable discussion among the students. Both moments are filmed: the students watching the film, and the discussion. The students represent a mix of academic disciplines from political science, sociology, anthropology, art history to fine art.
In each chapter, the roundtable discussion takes place in a language other than English, in this case it is in Gaelic. A professional interpreter is present for both the screening and the discussion, and he/she produces a simultaneous translation of the conversation that is recorded and forms the dominant soundtrack for the new film.

For more information on the work of Sarah Pierce please visit

• Sarah Pierce in a public conversation with Sarah Glennie NCAD Gallery – 4.30pm, 25th October 2012
• Sarah Pierce presents Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin’s film Chronique d’un étè (1961)
IFI – 6.30pm, 10th October 2012

For more information and interview requests please contact Anne Kelly on +353 (0) 1 6364390 or . Open Mon – Fri 10am- 5pm, NCAD Gallery, 100 Thomas Street, Dublin 8, Ireland.

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