Rush: Decolonising Research

Return Gallery, Goethe- Institut Irland, 37 Merrion Square, Dublin 2

Opening 15 January 2020 | 6 – 9pm
Exhibition runs till 28 February 2020.

Curated by Aoife Banks, Laragh Conroy, Noah O’Brien Galli, Ronan O’Reilly, Philipp Schroeder, and Paul Roy.

Six file cabinets. Six objects.


The spectacle of administration meets the theatrics of
curating. A Minimalist gesture deployed to stage relationships
between the body and the work, RUSH is exactly how
research is not meant to happen.
Maori anthropologist Linda Tuhiwai Smith identifies
research as a dirty word, originating out of colonialist
pursuits that characterise knowledge as a one-sided
acquisition. Decolonisation is the undoing of this conceit.
Once established territories become unsettled.
Disinterested in the extraordinary discovery and unable
to correct past wrongs, RUSH musters research as
subordinated labour. Like the native plant that takes over
the countryside, menacing and unruly, annoying the experts,
RUSH fails its subject and refuses to be put to good use.
Ours is not redemptive. We struggle, fruitlessly, but struggle nonetheless.


Part of Common Denominator, a two-year programme in the Goethe Institut’s Return Gallery curated by Art in the Contemporary World MA/MFA students. Through exhibitions, seminars, discussions and more, it interrogates what it means to speak of political solidarity, civic standards or even aesthetic values.

Common Denominator is supported by the Goethe-Institut Irland in collaboration with the National College of Art & Design.

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