A season of exhibitions and artists’ projects exploring the current issues of national identity, immigration and cultural diversity in Europe opens to the public at the Irish Museum of Modern Art on Thursday 12 September. The Event Horizon takes as its central theme the belief that the ‘new’ Europe must be built on an amalgam of the old, the new, the past, the present and the future and that, in order to retain its viability, it must incorporate a flexibility and permanent ability to improvise, as the needs and demands of present and future communities and states evolve.
The season, curated by Brussels-based curator Michael Tarantino and organised to coincide with Ireland’s presidency of the EU, also includes a short season of films, selected by Pat Murphy, presented in association with the IFC. The Event Horizon takes its title from an essay by the distinguished film-maker Michelangelo Antonioni dealing with the relationship between landscape and personal identity.
The core exhibition is being shown in two parts – Part I from 12 September to 6 November 1996 and Part II from 21 November 1996 to February 1997 – and brings together works in a wide range of media. Tim Robinson’s View from the Horizon examines the narrative possibilities of landscape through sculpture and maps while film-maker Atom Egoyan addresses the same issues in a video installation based on a sequence from his 1992 film Calendar. Sigalit Landau’s installation deals with the relationship between public and private space and between personal and cultural identity.
The exhibition comprises works by 15 artists from Bosnia-Herzegovina,
Britain, Egypt, France, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland, though many are displaced, working outside their homelands. Once the preserve of academic debate, the issues addressed have in recent years become much more visible, in some cases violently, in everyday life. The questions of cultural identity they raise are now part of a far wider agenda.
Michael Tarantino describes the evolution of the season:
As an exhibition, The Event Horizon started with the concept of narratives: how do artists construct them? As the emphasis on narrative was developed through the planning stages of the exhibition, two other themes emerged: landscape and personal identity. The artists invited to participate have all dealt, in one form or another, with the issues of landscape, narrative and cultural identity. Their approaches are, of course, very different. In fact, these differences are another way of ‘unfixing’ the questions under discussion. As an exhibition, The Event Horizon poses these questions, suggests a few responses and leaves the resolutions open to interpretation.
As part of The Event Horizon a special season of films dealing with issues of identity is being organised by the IFC, concentrated on two weekends: 2 and 3 November 1996 and 18 and 19 January 1997. The film programme, which includes films by Antonioni, Jeremy Marre, Helma Sanders Brahms, Emir Kuristicaa, Declan Quinn and Vivienne Dick, Joe Comerford and Bob Quinn, has been selected by film maker Pat Murphy, who curated a highly successful programme in association with IMMA’s From Beyond the Pale season in 1994-95. In addition, two films Atlantean by Bob Quinn and Folding Landscapes by Tim Robinson, will be shown at IMMA.
A further aspect of the season is Nomadism Now and Then, a slide/tape presentation prepared by Pavee Point based on the lives and culture of travelling people in Ireland and eastern Europe.
A fully-illustrated magazine-style publication, incorporating installation imagery of the new work by the participating artists, will be published in January 1997 documenting the entire season.
The Event Horizon Part I will be on show from 12 September to 6 November 1996 and Part II from 20 November 1996 to February 1997.
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