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Bureau de Change installed at IMMA

An unusual art installation made entirely from euro and punt coins goes on show at the Irish Museum of Modern Art on Thursday 3 April 2003. In Bureau de Change British artist Rose Finn-Kelcey uses some 12,400 coins to create an image of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, which famously exceeded all previous records, when sold in 1987 for £24.5 million. The work is on long-term loan to the Museum as part of the Weltkunst Collection of British Art.

For this updated version of the installation, Finn-Kelcey uses euro and Irish punt coinage to comment on recent changes in the Irish economy and currency, as well as on the ephemeral nature of fame and the vagaries of the world art market. Describing some of her reasons for initally making Bureau de Change in 1987 Finn Kelcey said: “I couldn’t understand what that amount of money even looked like. Here I was, making artworks for many years and not getting properly paid, likewise Van Gogh tried but didn’t manage to sell his Sunflowers. There is something absurd about the fact that this painting fetched that kind of money when most artists never make money from their work.” Since then the art market of the 1990s has changed all that.

Bureau de Change will be installed on the landing at IMMA. A closed circuit TV system directed at the image will have a specially designated uniformed guard in attendance – recreating the conditions of a bank vault. The entire installation can be seen by visitors from a special raised viewing platform.

Rose Finn-Kelcey is an artist who refuses to be categorised. Her practice revolves around the desire to engage viewer and artwork in an experimental dialogue. Whether working with steam that rises and envelopes the viewer or a sub-zero ice box which can only be endured for a challenging and claustrophobic moment, or more recently on her interactive LED vending machines and wearable electronic message signs, she challenges her audiences to take responsibility for their own actions in relation to the artwork and the wider world of which it is a part.

Bureau de Change continues until 2 June 2003.

A short guide with an essay by critic and writer Medb Ruane will be published to accompany the installation.


Admission is free.

Museum Opening hours:
Tue -Sat 10.00am - 5.30pm
Sun & Bank Holidays 12noon - 5.30pm
Mondays & 18 April Closed

Please note that this exhibition will be open from Tuesday - Sunday 12noon - 5.30pm

For further information and colour and black and white images please contact Monica Cullinane at Tel : +353 1 612 9900, Fax : +353 1 612 9999 Email : press@modernart.ie

12 March 2003


Irish Museum of Modern Art, Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, Ireland
Tel: +353-1-6129900, Email:
info@imma.ie