This exhibition proposes some alternatives to death – space travel, time travel, reincarnation. Works by Riccardo Arena, Richard John Jones, Lara Khaldi and Yazan Khalili are brought together in the immortal domain of the museum, to explore strategies towards life extension, by artistic if not other means. The exhibition functions as both a show, for people to come and visit, and a rehearsal space for the development of a new theatrical production, in collaboration with Cow House Studios and The Centre For Dying On Stage.
Riccardo Arena presents a collage of metaphysical enquiries based on extensive research into the Solovki Islands and Russian cosmism. Richard John Jones stages a series of material encounters with forgotten histories, inspired by the Isolarii (island books) of the fifth century. Through a lecture performance (taking place on 26 September) Lara Khaldi and Yazan Khalili attempt to communicate with bodies who have disappeared from earth. And with only a ghostly presence, artists from The Centre For Dying On Stage will explore the poetics of immortality throughout the exhibition.
Kate Strain is the Artistic Director of the Grazer Kunstverein. Based between Austria and Dublin, ongoing curatorial projects include The Centre For Dying On Stage, an online research and commissioning body; Department of Ultimology, a new department established in 2016 in Trinity College Dublin; and RGKSKSRG, the paired curatorial practice of Rachael Gilbourne and Kate Strain. Strain has worked at Project Arts Centre, the National College of Art and Design, and internationally on collaborative projects in Torino, Amsterdam and St Louis.
This project is presented as part of an exciting on-going initiative, New Art at IMMA, proudly supported by Matheson, which allows IMMA to continue to support which allows IMMA to continue to support artists’ vital work in a strand of programming that recognises and nurtures new and emerging talents, new thinking and new forms of exhibition-making.
FEATURED ARTISTS: Riccardo Arena, Richard John Jones, Lara Khaldi, Yazan Khalili
Riccardo Arena is based in Milan, and works internationally, responding to the locations and trajectories of his long-term research projects. His work is based on the creation of narrative structures, assembled through the intuitive act. These take the form of collage, films, drawings, archive objects, texts and animations. Once orchestrated into a visual constellation these elements become a vehicle for multiple references and interpretations. Arena’s most recent solo exhibitions include Vavilon, Viafarini, Milan, 2015; Muerte dual Ellero, 54th Venice Biennial, Padigione Italia nel Mondo, Galeria Wussmann, Buenos Aires, 2011; Il Quattor Volte Albero, Allegra Ravizza Art Project, Milan, 2009; and Four Times a Tree, 1918, ArtSpace, Shanghai, 2008. Group exhibitions include The Man Who Sat On Himself, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, 2015; Growing Roots, Premio Furla, Palazzo Reale, Milan, 2015; Scenario Di Terra, MART, Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, 2014; Arimortis, Museo del Novecento, Milan, 2013. Arena is a finalist for this years’ MAAXI Prize, 2016.
Richard John Jones is an artist based between Marseille and London. His practice examines places, structures or histories that have been erased, forgotten or annihilated, and exposes the vacuum that they have left behind. Jones uses domestic craft technologies as a means to create room for fiction and revival, thereby continually evaluating the present in relation to the past. Recent projects include J/E, collaborative group show at Galerie du 5eme, Marseille, 2016; Come Back, a two-person exhibition with Philipp Gufler at Generation and Display, London, 2016; The Ahistoric Vacuum, group exhibition at the EYE Film Museum, Amsterdam, 2016; The Moby Dyke, a bar at Lothringer 13 Florida, Munich, 2015; and All Closing And Dyke Bar And Everything Ending And Not And Death To The Ahistoric Vacuum (2015), a film exploring lost LGBT spaces. Jones is a graduate of the Sandberg Instituut and until 2012 was a Co-Director of Auto Italia South East. He works as a solo artist but also in collaboration with AA Bronson, Philipp Gufler, Huw Lemmey, Michael Oswell, Natsuko Uchino, Elise Carron and many more.
Lara Khaldi is an independent curator, based in Jerusalem, Palestine. Throughout her curatorial practice she has worked with fiction as a genre, as a way to transcend time and space. In doing so, she explores the colonial past, the dystopian present, and the impossibilities inherent in language and communication. Recently with her students at International Academy of Art and through other projects, Khaldi is exploring forms of adaptation and reproductions of theatrical plays, films and historical exhibitions into contemporary artistic projects and exhibitions. She is a recent alumna of de Appel curatorial programme, Amsterdam, and the European Graduate School, Switzerland. Khaldi was director of Khalil Sakakini Cultural Centre, Ramallah from 2012-2013. She held the position of Assistant Director for programmes at the Sharjah Art Foundation, United Arab Emirates from 2009 – 2011 and co-edited Provisions I&II with Bidoun Magazine (Sharjah Biennial 9 catalogues, 2009). Khaldi teaches at the International Academy of Art, Palestine, Ramallah and at Dar Al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture, Bethlehem.
Yazan Khalili is an artist who lives and works in and out of Palestine. Using photography and the written word, Khalili unpacks historically constructed landscapes, refracted through the prism of intimate politics and alienating poetics. In particular, he focuses on the effect of geographical distance on our rendering of territory, and its ability to heighten or arrest our political and sentimental attachments. Solo shows include, On Love and Other Landscapes, Mumbai Art Room, Mumbai, 2015; The Aliens, Transit Gallery, Mechelen, 2015; Regarding Distance, E.O.A. Projects, London, 2014; On Love and other Landscapes, Imane Fares Gallery, Paris, 2013; Landscape of Darkness, Transit Gallery, Belgium, 2011; Urban Impression, French Cultural Centres in Palestine, 2007/08; and Margins, The Delfina Foundation, London, 2008. His writings and photographs have been featured in several publications, including among others WDW Magazine, Kalamon, Manifesta Journal, Frieze Magazine, Race & Class, C-Print, Ibraaz, Contemporary Art: World Currents, and Subjective atlas of Palestine.
Lara Khaldi and Yazan Khalili have been collaborating in the development of performance lectures and other works since 2009. Collaborative work includes Love Letter to Mars, iterations of which were presented previously at Medrar, Cairo, 2013 and OCA, Oslo, 2014; Love Letters to a Union: The Falling Comrades, at Forum Expanded, 2015; Love Letters to a Union, at HomeWorks 6, Beirut, 2013; All the Other Lovers, at the NEME symposium ‘Through the Roadblocks’, Limassol 2012. A new iteration of Love Letters to Mars will be presented at IMMA, Dublin, 2016, as part of the exhibition The Plough, and other stars.
The Centre For Dying On Stage is a research body and performance project that generates new artistic undertakings, anchored to notions around death and the stage. Since 2013 the Centre archives, collects and collates instances of unexpected deaths that have occurred during moments of performance in the public domain. The Centre also comes to life through various real life iterations. Throughout 2016 the Centre is operating in collaboration with Cow House Studios, Rathnure, Co Wexford as part of the curatorial practice of Kate Strain. The 2016 residents of the Centre For Dying On Stage residency at Cow House Studios are Jessica Foley, Marjorie Potiron & Lisa Hoffmann, Steven Randall, and The Artist and Himself at 29 (TAH29).
Jessica Foley is a Dublin based artist and researcher, often working through writing and collaboration. Through her practice she actively engages collaboratively with people, material and stories to support dialogic situations and enactments. Since 2010 Foley has been working with engineering researchers at CONNECT, Trinity College Dublin. Throughout her PhD research she has been developing an open-ended choreographic process to support thinking, imagination, and creative experimentation within techno-scientific research contexts. She also works closely with words as material, generating short stories, essays, experimental fiction, and texts for performance and film.
Marjorie Potiron & Lisa Hoffmann are a collaborative duo from France and Germany, working together since meeting in 2013. They find mutual ground through a shared consideration of philosophy, politics and poetry, inducing interrogative forms that align with existentialist and situationist thought. Questioning the every-day and observing society, they highlight anomalies through elements as diverse as exaggeration, the supernatural, détournement, the absurd… Their practice integrates mediums such as performance and installation, resembling a kind of film, as they become ever more persistent in their obsessive commitment to incorporating elements of reality in their work. Recent projects have been hosted by: The Artist Ambassador Convention (UK), EXPO Milano 2015 (IT), le BBB centre d’art (FR), Kunstfest Weimar (DE), Museum of Odessa Modern Art (UA)
Steven Randall is an interdisciplinary artist, based in the United States. He works with sculpture, photography and installation to examine the relationship between consumer, commodity, and transformation. Within a culture of feverish consumption and retinal impatience, he often employs a meticulously manufactured realism to recreate “fast” objects by the slowest means possible. Randall’s work has been included in various exhibitions around the United States. He is also the recipient of numerous awards including the Toby Devin Lewis Fellowship Award, a Sculpture Fellowship through the Virginia Commission for the Arts and a Visiting Artist Grant through the Institute for Electronic Arts.
The Artist and Himself at 29 (TAH29) is a transhistorical genome and hyper-object which operates and co-activates humour and retroactive-irony as a way to approach the site of change and agency in the present. The artist, Alex Mirutziu is part of this collective alongside his twenty-nine-year-old-self. TAH29 is informed by the museological activity of the artist as the most unartistic of anything in existence. The artist is continually standing in for and filling some other body; an observation which only Keats could have made in a letter to Richard Woodhouse. The collective’s gravitational pull comes from phenomenology of presence and from the notion of a reality without presence developed by Graham Harman.