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Susan Connolly in Subjects Of The Painter

The Subjects Of The Painter blog recently featured an extensive interview with artist and current MA ACW participant Susan Connolly. The interview covers the evolution of Susan’s work, the relationship between theoretical perspectives and artistic practice, and the situation of painting within the current contemporary art landscape. Full interview is here.

MFA Christmas Exhibition

The NCAD MFA students are hosting a Christmas exhibition in the A4 Art shop on Thomas Street, just beside the main entrance to NCAD. It will take place on Monday 17th Dec between 6 and 8pm and there will be mulled wine and snacks to be had. The participating artists are Jane Locke, Lesley Ann O’Connell, Ann Jenkinson, Darina Meagher, Pat Curran, Margot Galvin, Denis Kelly, Paola Catizone, Robert Tucker, Elizabeth Archbold, Padraig Conway, Liam Gough, Irene Whyte, Susan Connolly, Sandra Hickey, Michelle Burke-Girgis, Joan Coen, Caroline Patten, Sean Molloy, Marilyn Gaffney, Eveleen Murphy, Lillian Ingram

Wine Soak no.6: Catholic Intemperance

In episode six, our correspondent Jakob Ligvine Kreek finds himself at the launch of a book reissuing the essays of the late Hubert Butler. While despairing an increase of €1 excise on a bottle of wine in the latest austerity budget Ligvine considers whether these historic texts could offer an opportunity to re-think the Nation and re-drink the State. Could the sensibilities of Hubert Butler present an alternative to drowning our sorrows?

Aghast at the prospect of another draconian budget I found myself perusing the Irish Times for a distraction and came across a talk and book launch concerning works by the late Hubert Butler that was taking place in the Hub in Trinity College. The talk was to feature two of the great Irish literati of our day: Fintan O’Toole and John Banville. Both writers are great fans of the essayist who had been regarded as a malcontent and an unsettling annoyance to the architects of the newly independent Irish State. As a commentator on Irish society and also the greater world, Butler could be regarded in an Irish context as a non-conformist that caused horrific embarrassment to the profoundly catholic and inward looking administrators of the newly formed Free State and subsequent Republic. The distinct advantage enjoyed by Hubert Butler was that as a member of that more cosmopolitan constituency within Irish life, known as the protestant ascendancy class, he was perhaps at liberty to consciously look beyond the shores of this island, beyond the blinkers that the catholic church imposed upon the general masses, to develop his musings on the sensibilities of Irish culture and daily life. One of his greatest attributes was the way in which he always turned to the particular to address the universal. Continue reading…

A Blind Eye

An illustrated conversation about attention and purpose:
Tuesday Dec 11th : 6.30pm – 8.30pm

On the occasion of Unmade, an exhibition in the Goethe Institut’s Return Gallery, of new work by Isabel Nolan, curated by Vaari Claffey, a short event incorporating art work, screenings, imagery and readings (of both original and selected texts), by invited writers and artists will take place on Tuesday the 11th of December. A discussion between Claffey and Nolan will frame the various contributions.

Contributors include Oisín Byrne, Lily Cahill, David Fagan, Jennie Guy, Francis Halsall, Declan Long, Garrett Phelan, Alice Rekab, Kate Strain and others. Works to be screened include films by Standish Lawder, Robot (John Miller & Takuji Kogo) & Wihelm Sasnal.

Vaari Claffey’s interest in the potential of both repurposing things and working with that which is to hand has manifested in her exhibition practices and research for many years. This is evident in her long-held regard for the manoeuvres that artists make to find a place for work in the world, and in her own strategies of cultivating loyalties and continuously adapting relationships, spaces and works to produce an annual event, Gracelands, that repurposes the festival format to present a one day exhibition.

Isabel Nolan’s recent sculpture, currently occupying the Return Gallery with the title ‘Festina Lente Rug’ is a modular, reconfigurable floor sculpture, which takes multiple forms, each bearing a new title appropriate to the given location. It is a dysfunctional, rug-like, floor based work that has its origins in the actions of German psychiatric patient Marie Lieb who un-purposed her bedclothes when she tore sheets into strips, and used the fabric to make patterns on the floor. Nolan’s new work sits comfortably with her own ongoing investment in the idea that artworks are un-purposeful objects, things which produce aesthetic experiences, in part by performing their freedom from being useful.

Miracle on Crofton Road Street

An evening long exhibition in The Drawing Project, Crofton Road, Dun Laoghaire.

This exhibition will be comprised of wall based objects, performance, video and site specific installation. It’s an eclectic mix of anomalies crammed under one roof for only an evening. Mince pies and mulled wine will be served.

Monday, December 10th – Doors open at half 6 and will close, perhaps, around 9.

Artists: Amanda Elana Conrad – Clare Breen – Alan James Burns – Ruth Clinton – Peter Donnellan – David Fagan – Michael Fitzgerald – Jane Fogarty – Sarah Gordon – Tracy Hanna – Andreas Kindler Von Knobloch – Tom Lawton – David Lunney – Niamh Moriarty – James ÓhAodha – John Ryan – Matthew Slack – Tom Watt

Curated by John Ryan and Tom Watt

Why do it yourself-blueprints can change the world

Architect, designer, and initiator of the Hartz IV Möbel project, Van Bo Le -Mentzel will give a public talk at the National College of Art & Design on ‘why do it yourself-blueprints can change the world’ on Thursday 6th December.

Hartz IV Möbel is a social design movement, centred around a series of basic, practical furniture pieces that are both simple and affordable to construct, making use of commonly-available, low-cost materials. Started in 2010 in Berlin, this was the beginning of a social DIY Experiment based on the belief that the world gets better if we “build more – buy less”.

Le has recently published a book, the Hartz-IV Möbel-Buch, which not only contains DIY instructions for all the furniture projects, but also provides tips on cost-effective living in small spaces, as well as features on prominent members of the DIY community in Berlin.

Presented by National College of Art & Design in partnership with the Goethe Institute

Speaker: Van Bo Le -Mentzel – Architect & Designer; Founder of HartzIVmoebel.com & One-Sqm-House

Date: Thursday 6th December

Time: 6 – 7pm

Location: Harry Clarke Lecture Theatre, NCAD, 100 Thomas Street, Dublin 8

Punk Rock Politics and The Aesthetics of Participation

Hugh McCabe writes about early 80′s US punk rock, the decline of participation in culture, and how Jacques Rancière’s formulation of the relationship between politics and aesthetics provides us with a way of rethinking what it means to be a part of something.

Dan Graham’s film Minor Threat1 consists largely of grainy concert footage of the Washington D.C. punk rock group from which the film takes its title. It’s a chaotic scene, and bears little resemblance to conventional music performance. The usual division between audience and performers seems to have been completely dissolved: people constantly clamber up on to the stage, and the singer spends as much time in the crowd as he does with his band-mates. There’s an air of antagonism as the crowd violently slam into one another in response to the music, and the show is constantly interrupted as disputes of various kinds flare up. The music itself is intense, loud and fast: a particular strain of US punk rock that came to be known as hardcore2.

Minor Threat were early proponents of the anti-drugs and anti-alcohol straight edge movement that became influential within US punk circles in the 1980s but also exemplars of the DIY approach to producing and performing music. In particular, in their later incarnation as Fugazi, they brought an explicitly political slant into play, refusing to situate themselves within the parameters of the normal music industry, and instead operating according to their own principles of co-operation, independence and self-sufficiency. This would manifest itself in various ways: maximum admission prices for gigs, insistence that everyone involved gets paid equally, non-engagement with any corporate entities, and promotion of political and social causes they were sympathetic to. Perhaps the most significant aspect of Fugazi’s approach though, and that of the wider DIY punk rock movement that they sprung from, was an ongoing commitment to the possibility of participation. This possibility of participation is symbolically enacted by the ritualistic behaviour captured in Dan Graham’s film, but also takes concrete form when audience members are encouraged to form bands, become promoters, release records, or write fanzines. Continue reading…



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