Archived entries for Headline

Liam Gillick in conversation with the MA Art in the Contemporary World

ACW in conversation under Liam Gillick’s Discussion Island at the Return Gallery. Photo by: Louis Haugh

Goethe Institut Irland
37 Merrion Square
Dublin 2

21st November

On the occasion of Liam Gillick’s exhibition A Depicted Horse is not a Critique of a Horse at the Kerlin Gallery (23rd November – 19th January) and his Denominator Platform 2018, specially commissioned for the Return Gallery at 37 Merrion Square in connection with Common Denominator: Art in the Contemporary World at the Goethe-Institut, a two-year programme that takes as its starting point Walter Gropius’s term, from which collective knowledges progress. Through exhibitions, events, seminars and more we will interrogate and inhabit what it means in our time to speak of political solidarity, civic standards, or even aesthetic values, and to consider the relation between common commitments and necessary possibilities of individual belief, expression and action.

All welcome. Please note space is limited. Arrive early to avoid disappointment.

Supported by the Goethe-Institut Irland, in collaboration with the National College of Art & Design. Courtesy the Kerlin Gallery.

Rosa Abbott
Kerlin Gallery
+353 1 670 9093

Éimear Regan
Art in the Contemporary World

Heidrun Rottke
Goethe-Institut Irland
+353 1 680 1100

Review by Seanán Kerr, ACW: Sean Scully, The Land/The Line at The Kerlin Gallery

Landline Burgandy, Sean Scully. Photo by Seanán Kerr

The Land/The Line, Sean Scully

The Kerlin Gallery

3rd October-17th November

“People come in here wanting to hate them…” To turn a trite cliché if Sean Scully didn’t exist you’d have to invent him, but such is the particular idiosyncrasies of that aspect (or perception) of Ireland he captures, there is perhaps only space in the collective art consciousness for one. What the gallerist informed me cannot be said for certain to be a wholly accurate gauge of the mind state of those before encountering one of the large square Scullies from 2015 and 2017 (curiously not 2016) of the landline series. As ever the space of the Kerlin excels in displaying work of this kind of scale, big, but not excessively so, a generously portioned meal for an obese Goldilocks, the size and lighting of the space suits these creatures. Yet what the gallerist said certainly indicates there is an expectation, that they are too easy, a little too technical bereft, or perhaps rather a little too close to the bone as regards precisely what it is they speak of.

The seven works are the same size, approximately the same form, though two are canvas and five are aluminium, the ‘lines’ of the show title are there and they are not. This use of line as a denominator is surely at least partially ironic, at very few points are the delineations between the horizontalised colour forms these paintings consist of so clean as to honestly be called “line” with a straight face, there is a minimum of three dimensions at play here. They smack and trample, into and over, akin to the colours in a four year old’s ball of play dough, once pristine, now mangled and bet into each other. Which isn’t to say they aren’t clearly defined, but sometimes the so-called lines aren’t defined by themselves inasmuch as they are by the last vestiges of older lines peeping out, like disturbed graves on a building site.

But what of the uncomfortable truth in Scully’s work? TJ Clark once defended the abstract expressionists citing “vulgarity”, is there a similar defense to be mounted in Scully’s case? Perhaps, perhaps not, in selecting the term “vulgar” Clark chose a word perfectly suited to a political, economic and cultural superpower on the rise, different to Ireland. Were I to propose such a term for Scully in the context of Éire it would have to be one that holds to an equivalent essential truth about both; that word would have to be “adequate”.

Like “vulgar” it conjures a sense of the pejorative, but not necessary so. The etymological root is in the latin for “equal”, the modern sense means “just good enough”. Both meanings speak of a certain truth of Irishness, where the light under overcast skies is spread wide, thin, nothing pops in such light, photographers complain of it, the lines are not quite lines.

The paintings follow a clockwise pattern, you climb the stairs and start with the one on its own on the left. This one is clearly the first in the sequence, there is a sense of signature about it, if you had to chose one to speak for the remaining half dozen, this would be it. The mix of blues is emblematic of the selection of works here, the inside of an old pot left outdoors rust orange, the burgundy that gives the work it’s title (Landline Burgundy), the sticking plaster fleshy-beige that streaks across the middle…

The presence of aluminium and canvas-based paintings begs a question, encourages examination of the brush strokes for stories and meaning. The aluminium resists, the canvas gives; so I’m told. (Though one risks making a fool of oneself if you can’t pass the pepsi challenge without peeking round the sides to note the material). The two blues speak of dark sea, yet the blue at the bottom is almost comically so, a mutant stowaway, a child’s idea of what blue is, unnatural and yet a shade often found on school uniforms. No single “line” is uniform. As with how the margins bleed and bump, fight and jostle, so too within the strokes themselves there is disagreement, different colours cling to different bristles, nothing is clearly defined and yet it is. There are seven “lines” (Newton who gave us two purple-blues (because the number seven appealed to his occultist sensibilities) would be pleased), the burgundy is second from bottom, it is complimented by the sticking plaster beige by looking like something you’d find under a bandage.

It is difficult sometimes to separate those aspects of Irishness that are in and of themselves, “pure” so to speak and those which emerged as a technology to be used against the English. An example can be found in a scene from Paddy Breathnacht’s I Went Down, where three men in a car approach a Garda checkpoint, the two in the front are kidnapping the one in the back, the kidnappers frantically curse the presence of the Gardaí on the road ahead as they pull up towards them, but as soon as they do pull up and the Garda looms through the wound down window, Brendan Gleeson’s Bunny draws the biggest laugh of the film by making this face…

There is something sinister about “Céad Míle Fáilte”, the term “aggressive gift giving” springs to mind, to be welcomed a hundred thousand times would be beyond tolerable.

The paint is slapped and lathered, the root of the strokes, as much in elbow, shoulder, torso, as wrist. A lick of not quite painted-over brown between beige and navy blue, another of the aforementioned disturbed graves.

The second Landline Asure, promises something more tranquil, this paint is borne by canvas, the surface less brutalised, shorter strokes, more delicate, curvier. A thick, almost slime-like spearmint green dominates the middle, an unfamiliar brand of toothpaste, one blue is so navy-dark it is as though the paint itself is hiding the strokes out of shame. There is no flatness here either, not really.

The third is brother to the first, perhaps twin. A broader spectrum. The longer, raking, straighter strokes the aluminium provokes, return. Again sea and rust, but a darker rust-red, situated on top, like a burning sky. A green is murdered and buried under granny-tights beige, can something that doesn’t aim for perfection have imperfections? A stab of white along the side, elderly pubic hair to go with the tights. Along the bottom is a dirty mustard, you’d think it had been dipped in it, if it wasn’t for the strokes.

The state of mind these images most readily reveal their nature to is sleep deprived. Jordowsky stayed awake for a week in the company of a zen master before shooting Holy Mountain. Camera pull back. Extreme heat and extreme cold are indistinguishable to touch. Place your arm along a series of bars which alternate cold and warm it will trick your system into registering extreme heat; apparently. The fourth is shaded like a child hiding in a ditch, or maybe she’s just thinking or longingly for the recent past to escape the near future as she rides in the back of the car being driven officiously back to the home she’d fled. This is what comes to mind when I look at Landline Crimson.

The lines have personality. The one painting called untitled has an expanse of grey, halfway between a view and being intensely accosted by John Major’s Spitting Image puppet. What does Scully have against canvases? Michelangelo struck David with his hammer demanding it speak, after it was finished, Scully attacks his canvases from the get go screaming, “shut up”.

The sixth is almost behaving itself, “yes Garda, as you can see…” the lines are almost evenly spaced. Here at last we have some green, but a green no Board Fáilte brochure would dare make use of. This is the green of Holbein’s dead Christ that so disturbed Dostoyevsky’s Prince Myshkin, not dying, not resurrected, but dead. This was the painting that on my first visit attracted flies, the gallerist approached me when he saw me taking photographs of them up close, we’d been in college about the same time, he a year below me (I think), but older, American, “please don’t post those online”, of course. Like a fascinating wound, the seat of all your attention, itchy, sore, pustulant, begging to be popped, prodded, picked, more engrossing than a smartphone in a hospital waiting room.

It is a treat to spend so much time with them, or at least to have a reason to, they require time. Footsteps and mouse clicks, short overheard conversations. The owner asking about the affordability of water taxis in some city he has to meet an artist, the gallerist answering a phone, saying matter of factly “about 11”. It seems everyone in here has a cold, sporadic coughing abounds, including from myself. I take it back, this one is the most obedient yet. Strokes shorter, more numerous, smoother, more bet in.

All is lit superbly. I am done, but never done with you Ireland, emigrant writers who can’t stop writing about here, you know the type, suppose you get it in painters too. Dignity in smeared makeup, like the drunk who feels sobered up in the company of the far drunker companion she’s waiting patiently with in the station at four in the morning. A strange blue-pink, the colour of a newborn chick tossed from a nest, an umbilical cord or varicose veins.

They are not lines,
They are not land,
They are people.

Seanán Kerr

Seanán Kerr was born in 1980, some stuff happened, then he wrote this. He is currently studying for an MA with Art in the Contemporary World, NCAD

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Island Life, group show featuring Stephanie Deady, ACW

Island Life – Westport

25TH October – 25th November 2018

Custom House Studios & Gallery

Westport Quay


A conversation with some of the artists will be held on Thursday the 25th October at 5.30pm.

Sonia Shiel, Nevan Lahart, Sinéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Kathy Tynan, Aileen Murphy, Marcel Vidal, Stephanie Deady, Stephen Loughman, Lesley-Ann O’Connell, Cecilia Danell, William O’Neill, Pat Byrne, Salvatore of Lucan, Robert Armstrong, Mark Swords, Dermot Seymour, Julia Dubsky and Joe Scullion.

Island Life will have it’s second outing later this month in Custom House Studios Gallery, Westport. The exhibition will include some new works by previously exhibited artists as well as the addition of Nevan Lahart, Aileen Murphy, Dermot Seymour, and Sinéad Ní Mhaonaigh.

Painting exists in an increasingly sophisticated visual world that sometimes seems to have a diminishing interest in the possibilities of paint. Island Life is concerned with the idea that, within the medium of paint there are opportunities for the individual to question the situation we live in and the resources we share. The paintings in this exhibition address the human condition and each of the artists suggests the capacity of the medium of paint to encompass both personal and universal concerns.

there is still much to do – a response to the work of Julia Dubsky by Sara Muthi

Baby Sharing. 96 x 80 x 2.5 cm. Oil on Canvas. 2018

What has already been said about painting is still not enough, the number of canvases marked has not scratched the surface of possibility. There is still much to do.

In a postmodern era which has given way to expanded painting (at times reaching intimate levels with forms of sculpture, installation and performance) there has also been a return to painting per se. This is the painting which concerns itself with hue, tone, composition, temperature (the list goes on). There are no frills, no gimmicks, just a primed stretched rectangular canvas with existing marks ready to be marked again. While painting may look inward questioning its ontology and possibilities, an exercise which has allowed for important movements such as expanded painting, painters of today can also simultaneously look at preserving the now. To quote David Joselit: “painting marks time, rather than intervening in the events that populate it”. Each mark made traces the fleeting action with which it was made. It stores gesture as evidence. The marking of time and engagement with painting per se are among the many concerns of Julia Dubsky.

Julia Dubsky is a Dublin born painter, and former studio mate of mine in the graduating class of 2016 from Fine Art Paint and Visual Culture at NCAD. She has since been granted many honourable opportunities, namely the coveted Temple Bar Gallery Recent Graduate Award. Dubsky has since relocated to Germany where she is currently doing a mentorship in the class of Jutta Koether in Hamburg University of Art. Personally, I chalk up her success to this; a delicate confidence. This is to be attributed to not just her painterly practice, but also to her character from which her work is inevitably rooted.

Dubsky’s Jealousy in the Garden (2018) concerns itself with her memory of painting, a sort of testing her unconsciousness. With that said, I feel this delicate confidence comes not from her unconscious ability but from where her conscious intention lies. I’ve been familiar with Dubsky’s practice for a number of years now and have seen it in many provisional stages. My mental portfolio of her work spans from peeking into her neighbouring studio at the Granary building of NCAD, to viewing her work Peacock (Jealousy) (2018) at the Kevin Kavanagh only earlier this year. My response to her painting has however still not been recast. I pick up on a palpable tension between her and her material (specifically oil paint). A point between artist allowing paint to be and the point of taking control, volition. I can almost hear the “oh no you don’t” as artist travels the canvas with material. Going back and forth, alternating her relationship between painter and consumer as she steps back to observe the canvas, it is clear nothing is incidental. If an aesthetic of frenzy emerges, consider it organised chaos. This is conspicuous due to the lack of drips or spots, no evidence of a mania or rashness. Given the painting’s thin application, as if razored flat, telling stains would be expected but none are present. Perhaps we could call it a power-play. This is what I imagine to happen behind her studio door.

It is this sew-saw of control that Dubsky utilises that elevates her delicate confidence. The image of the painting is immediate, it can be considered casual or brushed on. Dare I say rushed. But it is the security Dubsky has in her discernment and her carefully chosen materials that I believe grant works such as Baby Sharing (2018) it’s success.

I believe there is a point in each of Dubsky’s paintings in which she trusts her paint to slip into the unintentional. TJ Clark famously dismissed artist’s intentions stating he preferred to focus on what art can do. What Baby Sharing is doing is marking time, each layer reacting to the dry or wet paint beneath and laid upon it. However, none of that would be possible if not for the delicate confidence oozing from Dubsky and her work.

Sara Muthi

Julia Dubsky (b. 1990) is a Berlin based artist. She graduated from the NCAD Fine Art and Visual Culture BA in 2016; and she received the annual Temple Bar Gallery and Studios Recent Graduate Residency Award in 2017. Julia is currently doing a mentorship in the class of Jutta Koether, in Germany. Upcoming: nascent dirty lemon yellow, with Kyle McDonald at Pallas Projects 21-24 November,a solo exhibition in Amanada Wilkinson gallery, London (2019). Recent exhibitions and public speaking include: Island Life group show in Kevin Kavanagh Gallery (2018), Salon of Good Time solo residency exhibition in Temple Bar Gallery + Studios (2018); Basic Space Artist Talk, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane (2018).

Sara Muthi (b. 1996) is a Dublin based writer and curator. Muthi graduated with a BA from NCAD Fine Art and Visual Culture in 2016. She progressed and is soon to graduate from an MA in Art in the Contemporary World at NCAD. Since 2017 she has been managing editor of in:Action, the Irish Live Art review. Recent work includes: Anticipation: Actualisation curated event and panel discussion at the NCAD Gallery (2018); Homo Lundens (Man at Play) accompanying text for Black Church Print Studios (2018) Young, single and ready to navigate through complex issues regarding temporality and time review of PLATFORM’18 and panel discussion at the Draiocht (2018).

Photo credit goes to Matthew Thomas.

Jan Pleitner // Water for the Tribe

22 January – 10 March 2016
Opening reception: Friday 22 January

Kerlin Gallery is pleased to present Water for the Tribe, an exhibition of new painting by
Jan Pleitner. It will be his first solo exhibition with Kerlin Gallery.

Deeply influenced by science fiction (in fact, the title for this exhibition references Frank Herbert’s Dune), the fast movement of Pleitner’s jolting lines reflect both his dynamic, durational approach to painting, often completing works in single, marathon sessions, but also the speed at which the world operates on a more minute level: the speed at which sound or light can travel, for instance, or the speed at which signals are sent and received by the brain. In a sense, Pleitner’s chaotic lines evoke the frantic pace at which we are capable of processing information. But on another level, his rich, luminous colours also hint towards something more mysterious, giving a physical manifestation to the invisible forces that continuously surround our existence, or lending a highly saturated colour palette to the unchartered abyss of the subconscious mind.

Jan Pleitner’s paintings are striking and expressive; an intense exploration of colour and energy. Characterised by bold lines and deep pigments that bleed into one another, the artist takes a highly tactile approach to painting, scraping through layers of paint as readily as he builds them up. Scratches, lines and patches of colour jostle for our attention sending the eye zig-zagging across the rich, mercurial surfaces.

In a recent artist interview, Pleitner articulated that his painting ‘is not about an anti-image, its more about the discovery of an unknown image’. Though wholly abstract, his painting does not imagine new worlds so much as illuminate what is hidden in the one we inhabit.

Born in Oldenburg, Pleitner is currently based in Düsseldorf, having graduated with an MA from the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 2010. Selected solo exhibitions include Nanzuka Underground, Tokyo (2015), Natalia Hug, Cologne; Ancient & Modern, London (both 2014); Förderpreis der Öffentlichen Versicherungen Oldenburg, Germany (2013) and  Projekt Skagen 12, Denmark (2012). Pleitner’s work has previously been exhibited at Kerlin Gallery as part of the group exhibition Deep One Perfect Morning (2014).

For further information, please contact Rosa Abbott,

Gallery hours:
Monday – Friday, 10:00 AM – 5:45 PM
Saturday, 11:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Mel Brimfield at the LAB

Quantum Foam, the film work by artist Mel Brimfield commissioned by Kinsale Arts Festival 2014, will be showing at The LAB in Dublin next Thursday 11 December.

The LAB will host three films by the artist, tying together the national tour of the artist’s work, which kicked off at Kinsale Arts Festival in September with the support of Arts Council of Ireland’s touring work grant. We’ll be talking to students from the MA in Art Research Collaboration at Dun Loaghaire IADT about how the project came together. From 6pm, Mel will be in conversation about her work with critic Francis Halsall. The talk is free to attend, and you can read Francis’ essay on Quantum Foam here.

And tomorrow night, film installation Four Characters In Search of A Performance, originally commissioned by Jerwood Visual Arts, opens at Galway Arts Centre. Mel will be giving a talk about her work at 12pm this coming Saturday. The show runs until 17 January 2015.

For more info on Quantum Foam, visit


Nicola Whelan
The Joinery | Arbour Hill Dublin 7
24th Oct – 31st Oct
Opens October 23rd 2014 | 6-8pm
Runs October 24th – 31st 2014 | 12-6pm
Gallery talk October 30th 2014 | 6pm

…our own stories may be constructed by a prosthetic memory mediated through book and film. Nicola Whelan

The Joinery is pleased to present work by recipient of the 2014 Graduate Residency Award, Nicola Whelan (NCAD). Whelan’s new series, #AndHerPaleFireSheStoleFromTheSun draws on the narrative structure of both Vladimir Nabakov’s novel Pale Fire and Alain Resnais’ film Hiroshima Mon Amour, to create works that investigate the tension between truth and fiction; the objective and the subjective; and between seeing, knowing and experiencing.

The exhibition will include multiple daily screenings of Hiroshima Mon Amour at the Joinery, accompanied by a daily Twitter-based performance from the artist in response to the film and a display of archives of real and fictional events. The project will conclude with a gallery based talk with the artist and the exhibition curators on October 30th 2014.

The film Hiroshima Mon Amour tells the story of a French woman and Japanese ex-soldier who meet by chance in Hiroshima a decade after the bomb and subsequently become lovers. They converse about their individual traumas through a repetitive, structured dialogue and in doing so they increasingly confuse real, lived experience with prosthetic memory, a memory made of mediated images of the Hiroshima bomb. Their individual personal traumas and identities weave together to create a new unstable narrative of universal trauma.

Whelan shows documents of a security guard’s response to watching the film in an abandoned shop front when called out to silence an alarm. Increasingly drawn into the narrative, the security guard writes detailed notes of his experience on his call sheets, creating yet another chronicle of the film. Whelan juxtaposes this with her own experence of time spent in Hiroshima, gathering and collating a personal archive that blurs the lines between fact and fiction, truth and fantasy, the collected remnants of what was, may have been or never happened.

Whelan constructs an aggregate of reality, fiction, prosthetic and reliable memory for the show, featuring live performance, archive, a twitter event alongside the exhibition. You are invited to follow @Elle_a_Nevers and @Lui_a_Hiroshima to take part in the twitter event for the duration of the show.

Amid the Deepening Shades

Art in the Contemporary World alumni Lily Cahill, Rob Murphy, Ruth Clinton, Niamh Moriarty and Matthew Slack will be taking part in upcoming exhibition Amid the Deepening Shades

Deer Park Hotel, Howth

Sunday 19th of October – Sunday 16th of November 2014


It is between one o’clock in the morning and one o’clock in the morning and the road is bathed in a monochromatic yellow light. A steady beam pours out of a streetlamp into a puddle below. There are palm trees silhouetted against the night sky and it is hot and sticky outside. Down at the beach the waves of evening tide are spinning together a matted, hairy fog that tumbles ashore and begins to roll up the hill towards the hotel. Tangled wisps squeeze out drippings of brine as they slip through narrow holes in hedgerows and barbed wire fences. This mist, chalky with salt, brings with it a sensation of slow nausea until, wholly saturated, it swells up like a mushroom cloud and falls back swooning amid the deepening shades.

Like hotel residents separated by thin walls, the participants in this group exhibition are all alone together. Following divergent trajectories, works fill the recently emptied spaces of the Deer Park Hotel with visions of loss, physical residue, romance and indeterminacy, spilling into each other like television noise from the room next door.


Saturday 18th of October at 18:00 with reception in the hotel bar

Opening hours:

Saturday & Sunday 12:00 – 18:00 and by appointment on weekdays excluding Monday
(please contact for bookings)


Sunday the 26th of October 16:00 – 18:00
Falling Backwards: an afternoon of experimental music from Rachel Ní Chuinn and mvestle (TBC) from inside Deer Park’s drained swimming pool.

Sunday the 16th of November 18:30 – 20:00
Dementia 13: film screening of Francis Ford Coppola’s debut feature film which was shot around the grounds of Howth Castle.

This project is kindly funded and supported by Fingal Arts Office and thanks to Sarah O’Neill and Julian Gaisford-St Lawrence without whom this project could not have come to be.

Spelling Dystopia & Narita Field Trip

Art in the Contemporary World graduate, Barry Kehoe, curates Spelling Dystopia & Narita Field Trip by Nina Fischer & Maroan el Sani opening in MART, Rathmines on Wed October 1st 2014

An exhibition of two video works by Nina Fischer & Maroan el Sani in the Mart Gallery in October 2014 with promotional support by the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Goethe Institut, The German Embassy and Japanese Embassy. This will include an opening talk (book here) and a participatory workshop run by the artists. There will also be other talks and seminars held during the course of the exhibition involving the National College of Art and Design and the Institute of Art Design and Technology Dun laoghaire. During the four week run the two video works that will be shown are:

Narita Field Trip, looks at how two Tokyo teenagers deal with the experience of encountering a farming community that is fighting against the expansion of Narita airport, a development that threatens to swallow and destroy their farms, homes, livelihood and community. (HD, colour, stereo, 30 min. 2010)

Spelling Dystopia, is a film that explores a community’s memory of the abandoned coal mining centre, Hashima Island, once the most densely populated place on earth, now known as the backdrop for teen horror movie Battle Royale and as a home for Bond villains. (HD,16:9, 2 channel video installation, colour, stereo, 17:25 min)

Irish Film Institute Screening October 2014
There will be a single screening of I live in fear After March 11 hosted by the Experimental Film Club that concerns life in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster to be held in the IFI with an artist talk and open discussion.
book here

19 September 2014
Eva Rothschild and Declan Long in conversation, begins at 5:00pm on Friday the 19th (Culture Night) and is followed by the launch of the exhibition catalogue published by Ridinghouse.

Admission free; early arrival is recommended as places are limited.

Open Call for Colony Magazine Submissions

Call and Theme for Issue 3: Magic Visual Art Submissions Information
Online Experimental Literary Magazine

Colony is working with artist, writer and curator Tracy Hanna to develop a visual art section for its online magazine. This section will focus on experimental writing by visual artists and practitioners. Each issue will feature up to eight pieces within this category. There will be an emphasis on written works but image, sound, video, etc. will be considered where relevant to writing as a form and to the theme.
Acceptable formats include: Word Doc, pdf, jpeg or gif (no wider than 950 px), mp3, wav, video that is viewable online (youtube, vimeo, etc.). Text pieces should be no longer than 1000 words, and may be as short as you wish.
A nominal fee of €20 will be paid for each work selected from the open call; payments will be made through Paypal only.
For further information please email with ‘visual art inquiry’ marked in the subject bar.
Our submission period spans September 15th to October 15th. Send all submissions to, clearly marking which section you are submitting to in the subject line.
All art is magical in origin…it is intended to make things happen.
– William S Burroughs.
All art is magical, so says leading avant sorcerer Lord Bill Burroughs. If this be so, and you are an artist, then you are also a magician.
How strong is your art? How strong is your Magic?
During the cave-and-carnival cultures of our deep past, a long and tumultuous period, Art emerges as part of the increase in the complexity and anxiety of growing tribal populations involved in intense competition with others for resources, and needing to re-organise themselves politically, martially, and culturally to survive. From the beginning, Art is the sympathetic, manipulable and – crucially – manipulative assistant to the Hunter and the Warrior, and slightly later begins serving as Chief MindWeapon to the Pharisee, Oracle and Tyrant. Only after the Hellenic Golden Age do we begin to think of and produce Art as ‘humanist’ magic intended to deepen the sympathies or broaden the intelligence of its audiences. Yet, even today, who could imagine the survival of – for example – the novel without the powerful Dark Arts of agents, publicists, advertisers…the prize-awarders in their covenly deliberations and redoubts?
Lord Bill is not a lone voice; the history of art is filled with magicians or occultists or cultural engineers, to repeat a term the performance artist, musician and Pandrogyne Genesis P Orridge uses in reference to herm-self.
Think of Yeats and George in their Golden Dawn get-up performing rituals; think of them vigorously conversing with spirits and Demi-gods in the windy light upon the Hill of Allen; think of them trance- writing A Vision together.
Blake talking to his angels and demons. The Bible prophets of old.
The Rolling Stones and The Beatles flirted with The Great Beast Aleister Crowley, who was himself a writer.
Timothy Leary. Robert Anton Wilson.
The English painter Austin Osman Spare, who popularised the sigil method of magic.
Rival contemporary narrators and sorcerers Grant Morrison and Alan Moore.
All Art is magic! All Art is magic! All Art is magic! All Art is magic! All Art is magic!
Magic is made of words and symbols charged with focused energy intended to have results in the material world.
Today’s most successful magician/artists seem to be advertisers, marketers, corporations, media and sports moguls…
Think of the mystical power of the McDonalds M, wooing infants to swoon over ‘happy meals’ sensible rats would reject; think of the handsome and cunning Luciferian, Arthur Guinness, who woos (and then dumps) young musicians, and even young poets, with slithering promises of fame; think of the X in Xmas as a target in your brain.
Consider how many people watch the same shit at the same time on the magic box in the room or are entranced by the magic realm called the internet performing unknown to themselves screen-sex-magic.
As Alan Moore has said, most artists have sold themselves down the river.
WE CALL ON YOU TO TAKE BACK YOUR POWER OF ART and make something magic, spell for us, conjure something effective and useful, causing a ripple effect like those butterfly wings that just might cause a hurricane to spin and blow down all the galleries in Florence.
Make chaos out of order.
Sprout shit out of roses, or, if you’re a sentimental Druid of the Celtic fog, roses out of excrement. If you are the cause, why not choose the effect? Be deliberate, be careful, be brave.
We wait to see how strong your magic art is, charge it up and send it in.
All Art is magic! All Art is magic! All Art is magic! All Art is magic! All Art is magic!
We look forward to hearing from you.
Best wishes, Colony Editors

Art in the Contemporary Universe

IMMA + MA Art in the Contemporary World, NCAD
Saturday 20 September, 3.00pm – 5.00pm, 2014, Lecture Room, IMMA

Please take note of the time change above for this event
This is a free event, bookingbook here

This seminar on Art in the Contemporary Universe explores a number of themes prompted by the exhibition “The weakened eye of day” by Isabel Nolan (IMMA June-September, 2014).

The themes under discussion will address vast ideas, involving huge, probably unanswerable questions, such as what Italo Calvino has called overambitious projects in contemporary culture, grand narratives in science and the cosmological turn of recent philosophy. This seminar allows participants to explore realms of science, aesthetics and philosophy within the context of Nolan’s exhibition at IMMA.
Chaired by Paul J. Ennis (Lecturer MA Art in the Contemporary World, NCAD), Dublin. Speakers include; Dr. Fabio Gironi (Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of Philosophy, UCD), Dr. David Roden (Lecturer in Philosophy, and author of Posthuman Life: Philosophy at the Edge of the Human). Contributions will also be given by Isabel Nolan (Artist), Francis Halsall and Declan Long (Lecturers, MA Art in the Contemporary World, NCAD).

Further Information

Artists, philosophers, theologians and scientists share a fascination for seemingly intractable problems. Focused on the ‘big picture’ they are tasked with piecing together a sense of meaning in a world that feels increasingly contingent. We no longer live in a familiar world, but in a cold Universe. From the cosmological position we begin to look small, perhaps even insignificant. The sciences, in particular, have been the source of this creeping awareness and artists, philosophers, and theologians find themselves at the mercy of its encroachment upon their traditional territory.

Isabel Nolan’s work evokes precisely this feeling as it emerges in art. The pervasive tremor of deep time is everywhere in it and this same tremor haunts the ground of philosophy. This deep time, the time of an indifferent universe, brings with it a sense of meaninglessness. Can we nonetheless still gain traction on how it goes with the world once we begin to think at these time-scales? How, in the face of deep time, might we fuse together rational or artistic conceptions of the universe without overriding its contingency? What does the future look like when conceived from such a wide angle? It is these questions and more that ‘Art in the Contemporary Universe’ will seek to address.

Schedule: 3.00 – 5.00pm, Lecture Room, IMMA

Introduction | Isabel Nolan (Artist)

Chairpersons Address | Paul J. Ennis completed his PhD in Philosophy at University College Dublin. He is the author of Continental Realism (Zero Books, 2011), the Meillassoux Dictionary (Edinburgh University Press, forthcoming 2014) and Cypherpunk Philosophy (Rowman and Littlefield, forthcoming 2015).

Presentation 1| Manifest and Scientific Images: Arts contribution to our conception of a meaning-less universe

Dr. Fabio Gironi is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of Philosophy, University College Dublin. He previously studied at the University of Rome “La Sapienza,” the University of London, and Cardiff University, where he obtained his Ph.D. His work focuses on the philosophy of science and the history of scientific conceptual frameworks, drawing from both analytic and continental sources.

Presentation 2 | How to think like a fossil: art for a posthuman universe.

Dr. David Roden is Lecturer in Philosophy at the Open University. He is author of Posthuman Life: Philosophy at the Edge of the Human. His research has addressed philosophical naturalism, interpretation-based accounts of meaning, computer music and the metaphysics of sound. Recent articles include “The Disconnection Thesis” in The Singularity Hypothesis: A Scientific and Philosophical Assessment and “Nature’s Dark Domain: an argument for a naturalized phenomenology” in the Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement: Phenomenology and Naturalism.

Open Discussion + Questions and Answers | Dr. Fabio Gironi, Dr. David Roden, Paul J. Ennis, Francis Halsall and Declan Long.

Screening IFI | Melancholia

Screening IFI | Lars von Trier’s Melancholia
Monday 15 September, 8.30pm, 136 Mins, IFI

In conjunction with the current exhibition Isabel Nolan : The weakened eye of day, IMMA invites you to a special screening at the IFI of Lars von Trier’s film portraying a sibling relationship in the shadow of impending disaster as the planet Melancholia hurtles towards Earth.

As an integral part of Isabel Nolan: The weakened eye of day there will be a series of talks by guests, on subjects ranging from cosmology to philosophy. This film screening, along with a related programme of talks and lectures, are part of the on-going investigative enquiries that inform The weakened eye of day and Nolan’s practice. In the context of Nolan’s exhibition at IMMA, Francis Halsall (Lecturer, MA – Art in Contemporary World, NCAD) will give a short introduction. See further information about the film Melancholia below.

Tickets €5 plus booking fee. Tickets available here

Further Information

Melancholia (2011), 136 minutes| Denmark-Sweden-France-Germany| 2011|Filmed in English| Colour| D-Cinema

How would Lars von Trier follow the eye-popping AntiChrist ? With a chamber drama about bipolar disorder and world destruction but of course. A mesmerising opening salvo delivers Kirsten Dunst iconic in close-up, lashing rain, clashing planets and Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde. Meanings and connections fall into place from then on, as an obviously troubled Dunst attends a plush wedding hosted by her filthy rich family. Charlotte Rampling is a beastly mum, dad John Hurt a charming gadfly, and sibling Charlotte Gainsbourg seemingly the only sensible one. She can’t quite explain away increasingly forlorn Dunst’s aching fears though, not least when a rogue planet approaches on a collision course with Earth. Von Trier conveys to perfection the woozy dislocation experienced by those gripped by the black dog of melancholy, adding strong performances and painterly effects to the mix. As a sufferer himself, it’s an obviously personal project for the great Dane, and quite possibly the most sincere film he’s ever made.

Oiticica : Art and Crisis

NCAD Lecturer and contributor to MA Art in the Contemporary World, Emma Mahony, will take part in the Irish Museum of Modern Art Talks and Lectures programme.

Lecture | Emma Mahony
Wednesday 10 September, 6.00 – 7.00pm, Lecture Room, IMMA

Emma Mahony (Associate Lecturer, NCAD), will examine how Oiticica’s practice has been inspired by the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, and more widely how the informal city has been perceived by artists and intellectuals (on the left) as a site of resistance where, as curator Carlos Basualdo notes: original forms of socialization, alternative economies and various forms of aesthetic agency are produced (Carlos Basualdo (2003), On the Expression of the Crisis, in Francesco Bonami (ed.), Dreams and Conflicts: The Dictatorship of the Viewer, Venice: Biennale, p. 243).

About Speaker:

Emma Mahony lectures on graduate and undergraduate programmes in the Faculty of Visual Culture at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD), Dublin, where she is also a PhD researcher. She is also a visiting lecturer at the School of Art History and Cultural Policy, University College Dublin (UCD). From 2004 – 8 she was exhibitions curator for the Hayward Gallery, London.

Book your free tickets here

In Conversation | Isabel Nolan & Sally O Reilly

IMMA Talks, Lectures & Events
In Conversation | Isabel Nolan + Sally O Reilly
Wednesday 27 August 6.00pm, Lecture Room IMMA

Isabel Nolan discusses her artistic approach for the current exhibition The Weakened Eye of Day with Sally O Reilly; writer for art and culture publications, including Art Monthly, Cabinet and Frieze).

About Speaker:
Sally O Reilly is a writer who publishes and distributes text in print and performative formats, from art magazines and lectures to video and opera. Her book The Body in Contemporary Art was published by Thames & Hudson in 2009 and her monograph on Mark Wallinger will be published by Tate in February 2015. She has also curated and produced numerous exhibitions and performative events and was writer in residence at the Whitechapel Art Gallery (2010–11). She is currently writing a novel, Crude, about academia and the oil industry, as well as an opera libretto, The Virtues of Things, which will premiere at the Royal Opera House in May 2015.
Booking is essential. Free ticket s are available here

Foaming at the Mouth 3

An evening of spoken word and visual art, speakers include current and past Art in the Contemporary World students Michelle Hall, Blaine O’Donnell,Ruth Clinton & Niamh Moriarty, Lily Cahill & Rob Murphy and Suzanne Walsh.

more info
even more info


Upcoming event at Gorey School of Art, participants include Art in the Contemporary World coordinator Dr. Francis Halsall

Art In The Contemporary World Podcast No.5: Reflections on VAWF

This podcast centres on the issues raised by the Visual Arts Workers Forum 2014, which took place recently (May 2014) at the Project Arts Centre in Dublin. As well as giving an overview of the initiative of VAWF, contributors discuss some of the main themes emerging during the day including governance and citizenship.

Contributors: Vaari Claffey, Tessa Giblin, Declan Long and Francis Halsall.

Download audio for offline listening by right clicking here.

The Crisis of the Object Of Criticism

ACW & IMMA Research Residency & Public Lectures:
Nuit Banai on ¨The Crisis of the Object Of Criticism.”

21st and 28th May | 6pm
National College of Art and Design
100 Thomas street
Dublin 8

MA Art in the Contemporary World (National College of Art and Design, Dublin) in collaboration with the Irish Museum of Modern Art is delighted to welcome Nuit Banai as their inaugural Visiting Research Resident. Following an open call Nuit was invited to develop and present her research on the theme: “The Crisis of the Object Of Criticism.” This will involve graduate seminars, studio visits and two public lectures.

We are delighted to welcome Nuit to Ireland and host her in collaboration with the residency program at IMMA. Nuit is an art historian and critic who received her PhD in Art History from Columbia University before joining the Department of Visual and Critical Studies at Tufts University/School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in 2007. Her research interests focus on the the post-war and contemporary constructions of new publics through the visual arts, especially in Europe and the Middle East. She has published widely, including commissioned essays for the Schirn Kunshalle in Frankfurt, Centre Georges Pompidou and Musee d’Art Moderne in Paris, Barbican Art Gallery in London, Artists Space, Bronx Museum for the Arts, the American Society in New York City and Documenta in Kassel. She served as Assistant Editor of the journal RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics (2002-2005), is a regular contributor to Artforum International and a Contributing Editor to Art Papers. Her book on Yves Klein is forthcoming in the Critical Lives series published by Reaktion Books and she is currently developing a book project titled Imagining Europe: From Nation State to Border State.

Lecture 1: “Border Identity: The Manifesta Paradigm for Europe”
Wednesday May 21, 6pm, Harry Clarke Lecture Theatre, NCAD, Thomas Street, Dublin 8

In this lecture, Nuit will argue that one of the primary challenges of artistic practitioners and cultural institutions is imagining a uniquely European sphere that is still in the making, and envisioning new forms of sovereignty, publics, and models of citizenship within it. Using “Manifesta: The European Biennial of Contemporary Art” as a case study, she will suggest that transforming the modernist rubric of the nation state into a post-national project makes visible a proposition for a ‘border identity’ that may be both radical and reactionary.

Lecture 2: “Here and Elsewhere: Toward a Modernism of Exile”
Wednesday May 28, 6pm, Harry Clarke Lecture Theatre, NCAD, Thomas Street, Dublin 8

In the years surrounding the outbreak of World War II, the experience of exile was paramount as artists were dislocated from their site of life and work and transplanted into new cultural contexts. As a result, countless practices framed by this historical rupture have either been absorbed into national narratives or rendered invisible. In the contemporary period, meanwhile, the celebration of post-nationalism asserts the predominance of a global lingua franca and relegates those who embrace national idioms to particularistic concerns or outright obscurity. The case of Gertrude Goldschmidt, aka “Gego,” might help us develop a ‘modernism of exile’ that complicate these two prevailing historical models, which link modernism and modernization with stylistic ruptures within the parameter of the nation state and are organized within geopolitical power dynamics of ‘center’ and ‘periphery.’

Something About Some Thing To Do With Paint

Past student of Art in the Contemporary World, Susan Connolly will present a series of new works which explore the physical qualities of paint extending our understanding of contemporary painting.

The Mac, Belfast
Sunken Gallery
9 May – 22 June 2014
Mon – Sun 10am to 7pm
Opening Thursday 8th 7-9pm

Painting as a mode of tactile production is designed to be consumed primarily with one’s sight; so at first glance these paintings appear to represent surfaces which have been flagrantly abused; their distorted supports, cut away paint, stained surfaces casually hung, placed onto armature like tragic trophies of some catastrophic event.

Yet it is a deliberate and what is actually a very delicate and systematic examination from within the canvas that informs and produces these critically engaged works. This is achieved by confronting the ‘problem’ with painting by incorporating its very destruction into the work itself.

These paintings mirror the scuffed, scratched, and beaten surfaces of living, they tell stories from within the processes of the painted history. By not being limited to the wall bound traditions associated with painting, questions of surface and support lead to answers of volume and the paints new status as an object, as they protrude and project into the viewer’s physical space.

Susan says of her practice “Most of my studio work comes from time spent looking; considering and questioning much of what I see, read or experience in relation to making objects. I think it is a very exciting time to be thinking about painting, with all the rhetoric of ‘death’ within the medium proving sheer nonsense again and again.”

Susan Connolly was born in Dublin, studied at Limerick School of Art and Design (BA, 1994-1998), The University of Ulster at Belfast (MFA, 2000-2002) and The National College of Art and Design (MA, 2011-2013).

Recent exhibitions include; Three Degrees of Painting, 2013 ‘Airport for Shadows’ at The Cross Gallery, Dublin, 2011 ‘Constellations’ at Visual, Carlow, 2011 and ‘Connections’ at Red/Rua, Dublin, 2010.

IMAGE: CYM, MYC, YCM, Acrylic paint, medium gel, pine stripwood, mirror, 2014

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