This exhibition is a continuation of the Museum’s contemporary projects strand of programming. It showcases some of the most intelligent, experimental and exciting contemporary work in Ireland today. The aim is to allow each of the nine participating artists a substantial space in which to show a body of work or new project.
‘How things turn out’, as the title suggests, takes a rather laconic view on life suggesting that to try and control or influence the future is futile – rather we should place ourselves, and find meaning, only in relation to the past. Each of these young artists seems to be engaged, in diverse ways, with a process of reinterpretation.
Among the new projects shown are ‘Mountain’, 2002, and ‘North Star’, 2002, from artistic partners Walker & Walker, who explore the history of German Romantic painting – painstakingly extracting the physical elements from Caspar David Friedrich’s best known painting ‘The Wanderer Above the Clouds’, c1818, and wittily remaking them in pristine sculptural form. Heather Allen gives a performance/reading on the opening night combing texts from Tolsky’s Anna Karenina and her own writing on the instability of relationships, which she sees as inextricable from recent traumas in her home town of Portadown. She is also creating an elaborate installation, simulating the tired aftermath of a nightclub when everyone has gone home and only the props remain. Eoghan Mc Tigue’s photographs investigate the relationship between signs and surfaces, found in the everyday urban landscape. His large format images play with notions of the painted picture plane specifically in relation to abstract painting and the history of Modernism, in ‘Empty Sign’ and ‘Tricolour’. Many of the artists, including Garrett Phelan, Seamus Harahan, Ann Marie Curran, Gerard Byrne and Isabel Nolan, mine various cultural reservoirs such as history, art, literature and memory, to form rich and rewarding new work.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue, with essays by its curator, Annie Fletcher, and by the international curator and critic Maria Hlavajova, investigating these fresh Irish perspectives.
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