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Opening the 2019 Autumn season at IMMA is a large-scale international group exhibition Desire in Art from the 20th Century to the Digital Age, co-curated by Yuko Hasegawa, Artistic Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, and Rachel Thomas, Senior Curator; Head of Exhibitions, IMMA.

This exhibition will explore the evolving role of desire in art and life and its relationship to structures of power. New commissions of contemporary works alongside a succinct selection of master works of the 20th-century will offer a unique examination of the relationship between desire, technological advancements, and its impact on social structures. Helen Chadwick’s chocolate fountain Cacao, 1994 will be featured alongside Marcel Duchamp’s La boîte verte (The Green Box), 1934 – interrogating masculinist notions of viscerality in the readymade as well as the connections between unobtainability, distance, and desire.

Spanning over 100 years, the exhibition explores the development of desire through the lens of the eurocentric male gaze and its influence in shaping artistic depictions of desire in contemporary culture.

The exhibition will include collaborations and talks across the museum campus. Audiences are encouraged to consider how the primal and nostalgic nature of desire has been refashioned into a deeply complex and often alien element of one’s own identity in both physical and digital realities, and to question whether desire is the fundamental motivation of all action.

A significant publication will accompany the exhibition, featuring contributions from the exhibiting artists, co-curators and key contemporary thinkers from a variety of fields. A series of new Limited Artist Editions will be produced by IMMA especially for this exhibition.