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Exhibition on the theme of Science marks start of IMMA’s tenure at the NCH

An exhibition exploring connections between art and science will mark the Irish Museum of Modern Art’s first presence in a city centre location when some 35 works mainly from the IMMA Collection go on show in the Museum’s temporary exhibition spaces at the National Concert Hall site in Earlsfort Terrace on Thursday 31 May 2012. Time out of Mind focuses on the many and varied ways in which artists have engaged with ideas about time, memory, space, perception, change and similar concepts. The exhibition is being organised in celebration of Dublin City of Science 2012. IMMA’s inaugural programme at the NCH also includes a striking film project by the Albanian artist Anri Sala and the American composer Ari Benjamin Meyers, inspired by the siege of Sarajevo, which is being shown in the nearby Annex.

Time out of Mind brings together the work of 27 leading Irish and international artists, mainly in works created from the 1990s onwards. These include Lynda Benglis, Dorothy Cross, Michael Craig-Martin, Marcel Duchamp, Barry Flanagan, Isaac Julien, Cristina Iglesias, Callum Innes, William McKeown, Elizabeth Magill, Eva Rothschild, Grace Weir and Daphne Wright.

Installed in the 14 galleries on the ground floor of the North Wing of the NCH building, the exhibition responds to the various cultural and intellectual layers of Earlsfort Terrace, in particular the building’s former scientific function as part of the National University’s Medical School.

Works are installed so as to offer new encounters and readings. For example, affinities may be felt between the filmed Liquid Archive animations of Carlos Amorales and the black Perspex sculpture Stalker by Eva Rothschild; while Tree by Niamh McCann, of reconfigured oars that arch over the space complete with a gilt-bronze flock of humming birds and white neon twig, relates to the minimally treated white panel diptych of Michael Craig-Martin, with small ‘readymade’ landscape paintings inserted in the top corner of each.

Since the 1960s many artists have adopted the type of serial methodologies associated with the objectivity of science. Some range across diverse scientific fields such as biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, astronomy, acoustics and computer science. Yet while they may draw on scientific concerns and ideas, the artist’s central aim is to remain open to the experiental and to the possibility of failure, that turns out to be enabling rather than disabling: what the artist Tacita Dean calls ‘objective chance’.

Time and associated notions of permanence, impermanence and metamorphosis occur at many levels in contemporary art and are variously reflected in the exhibition. Tacita Dean, in Presentation Sisters, 2005, which is on loan from the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork, and Isaac Julien, in his three-screen video Paradise Omeros, 2002, demonstrate an awareness of the complexities of memory and time, such as the ambiguity of actual versus ‘felt’ time, and question assumptions about how memory operates. They are also concerned with how knowledge and ideas are transmitted within cultures and across time. Grace Weir’s film work, made at Dunsink Observatory, employs natural phenomena to investigate complex scientific theories of time and space. While Marie Foley’s sculptures, including The Last Judgement, 1991, explore the spirit within natural and man-made forms that reveal an inexorable transformation across time. 

Dorothy Cross’s video piece Medusae, 2000, is inspired by her research in marine biology in collaboration with her brother, the scientist Professor Tom Cross. While Cristina Iglesias in Untitled (Vegetation Room X), 2002, and William McKeown in Hope Painting (Going Through the Looking Glass), 2005, make materially manifest that which is there but not always noticed in the physical world. They demonstrate an understanding of biological life-forms, not just in terms of appearance, but also in how they interact with the world around them. Like scientists both are drawn to these forms by a metaphysical agenda, such as the quest to understand the essence of life.

Art and science through the ages have been affected by the development of mirrors and optics. Through strategies and motifs of mirroring, reflection, distortion, duplication and proliferation, the effect on one’s perception of the world and of the self within it are explored in the works of Marcel Duchamp, Carlos Amorales, Lynda Benglis, Cristina Iglesias, Eva Rothschild, Mark Manders, Elizabeth Magill, Anita Groener, Stephen McKenna and Chung Eun-Mo. Some of these phenomena are seen in literal resemblances within and among artworks, others through subjective speculation. In other works notions of time, space and memory are signalled by the use of  music or sound – either as structural elements or, implicitly, by means of  a perceived cadence in works by artists such as Fergus Martin and Sean Scully.

As part of the exhibition programme, IMMA will invite artists to reflect on their works in the exhibition in the context of current developments and new directions, through discussions around the cultural aspects of science, the impact of science on art, and their ideas and personal philosophies. Curator Jobst Graeve has been invited to make a selection of works by Marie Foley in an installation which will accompany her sculpture The Last Judgement, 1991, which is in the IMMA Collection.

Cult of Engagement, 2009, by Clodagh Emoe will go on exhibition as part of Time out of Mind in the Annex at the NCH from 1 August, coinciding with the opening of Not I by Neil Jordan, also in the Annex building.

Time out of Mind is curated by Christina Kennedy, Senior Curator: Head of Collections, IMMA, assisted by Brian Cass, Curatorial Co-ordinator, Collections Department, IMMA.

To coincide with the exhibition, the first in a series of public seminars entitled ART + will explore the subject of collaboration between art and science on Tuesday 10 July 2012 at Earlsfort Terrace. This includes a keynote address by Siân Ede, Arts Director of the Gulbenkian Foundation, followed by a discussion with panel speakers including Dorothy Cross and Tom Cross, Marie Redmond from Creative Technologies at Trinity College, Michael John Gorman, Director of the Science Gallery, and Mick Wilson, GRADCAM Fellow at NCAD.

In addition, to mark IMMA’s tenure in the NCH building, a series of lectures continues under the title Agents of Architecture in collaboration with the Irish Architecture Foundation. High profile international speakers have been invited to represent their involvement in the subject, their understanding of its definition, from the typical to the most unorthodox views. International speakers confirmed to present in the Autumn series 2012 at Earlsfort Terrace, include Anne Lacaton, Lacaton Vassal, Paris; Eva Franch, Director, Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York; alongside other national and international participants.

Admission to talks and lectures is free but booking is essential on

As part of a new audience building initiative for the NCH site, free guided tours of the exhibition for individual visitors and small groups will be available on Tuesday and Saturday at 4.00pm, Wednesday and Friday at 1.15pm and Thursday at 6.00pm. The exhibitions will remain open until 7.00pm on Thursdays.

An exhibition guide with texts by Georgie Thompson, Acting National Programmer, IMMA; Hilary Murray, Collections Online Project Co-ordinator, IMMA, Marguerite O’Molloy, Assistant Curator: Collections, IMMA, and Brian Cass, will accompany the exhibition, with an introduction by Christina Kennedy. 

The exhibition and related programmes are sponsored by Dublin City of Science 2012.
The exhibition is supported by THE IRISH TIMES and Feast Catering.

Time out of Mind continues until 2 September 2012. Admission is free.

Opening hours at the NCH:

Tuesday: 10.00am – 5.30pm
Wednesday: 10.30am – 5.30pm
Thursday: 10.00am – 7.00pm
Friday and Saturday: 10.00am – 5.30pm
Sunday and Bank Holidays: 12noon – 5.30pm
Monday: Closed

For further information and images please contact Monica Cullinane at Tel: +353 1 612 9900; Email: [email protected]

14 May 2012

Important Notice


We would like to advise our visitors that our Main Reception area is closed for renovation from 22 April until mid-June.  A temporary reception is open on the ground floor next to the original main entrance. While we prepare to open our next exhibition Hilary Heron: A Retrospective on 24 May, there are two exhibitions to see Derry Film & Video Workshop and Self: Determination: Artists Commissions. IMMA’s gardens and café are open to the public.