This will be the first showing in Ireland of the slide-tape installation I N I T I A L S, 1993-94, by the highly-acclaimed Irish artist James Coleman. This work forms part of a trilogy of his most important works from the 1980s and 90s, acquired through funding from the Heritage Committee of the National Cultural Institutions in 2004. Coleman has for more than 30 years, experimented with the pictorial media that now dominates wide areas of current art production. The photograph, the projected film still, the transparency, the slide show with sound track, and film are the media in which he has conveyed his reflections on the meaning of the image and how it moves or freezes. At the centre of Coleman’s work is a predominant concern with communication, how images and words function to both elucidate, but also to translate meaning. Although widely recognized abroad as one of the outstanding artists working with new media, Coleman’s work has not had major exposure in his homeland. This installation, the first in a series to be shown at IMMA, hopes to redress this.
Born in Co Roscommon in 1941, James Coleman has worked in multimedia and film for more than 30 years, and pioneered the use of the "slide-tape" format (multiple transparencies projected with synchronized audio tape). He has held international solo shows since 1970, across Italy, France, Germany, Holland, Canada and the USA. Recent solo exhibitions include Kunstbau Lenbachhaus, Munich, 2002; Sprengel Museum, Hanover, 2002; Musée du Louvre, Paris, 2003, and Museu do Chiado, Lisbon, 2004-05.