Caoimhin Mac Giolla Leith
Recently, Ireland has become prominent in Lithuanian life; as one of the most popular destinations for Lithuanians wishing to work abroad, talk of entire families, or villages even, upping and moving to Ireland are commonplace. Ireland has become almost legendary; a land of plenty, like the America of the 19th and early 20th centuries for the Irish.
Ireland’s cultural life, particularly its literary heritage, is internationally renowned. ‘An Exhibition in Five Chapters’ brings five elements of the Irish contemporary art world to Vilnius in a series of diverse events taking place throughout 2007. Participants will range from established international artists to those in their mid career and young emerging practitioners. Weaving throughout the programme are ideas of narrative and aspects of fiction, storytelling, and a sense of place or time – presenting a snippet of the concerns of artists in Ireland that so many Lithuanians are now experiencing.
CAC Info Lab
The first chapter is an intervention by Clodagh Emoe in the Info Lab, the library and resource area in the foyer of the CAC. Emoe is an emerging artist based in Dublin who has undertaken residencies at the Irish Museum of Modern Art and Banff Centre, Canada. Emoe often uses cartographic and textual approaches to drawing and sculpture and her practice also encompasses photography, performance and film. Narrative is established through a series of moments captured by her work: a cyclone rendered in pencil, an iridescent mountain, a series of intuitive pencil drawings of the stars or a film of attempts to climb a wall that could have lead to a leap into the void.
For the CAC Emoe creates a text piece for the front windows of the foyer, made from masking tape, legible to people passing by on the street outside. The text reads as a sentence, or perhaps an evocative title. Inside the foyer a slide is projected and interplays with the text to lead to possible stories of fate and different endings.
CAC Info Lab
Niall DeBuitlear is a young Irish artist based in Dublin following a year-long residency in Belfast at Flax Arts’ Studios. His work often deals with the traces of everyday human activity. From chewing gum left on the street to spills or stains on pages of a book, DeBuitlear documents or reproduces these traces. He works in a range of media from photography to drawing, text to installation.
In the small library of the Info Lab in the CAC DeBuitlear presents The Found Bookmark Collection Vilnius. The piece consists of objects left between the pages of books in libraries in Vilnius. He visited libraries throughout the city collecting several hundred objects including receipts, 40-year-old envelopes, hair-pins and a love letter addressed to ‘my dear cabbage’. On view in the CAC is a selection from this collection, each item containing its own personal story.
CAC Café Talk
Caoimhín Mac Giolla Léith is a critic, curator, and Senior Lecturer in Irish Language and Literature at University College Dublin. He is a contributor to various journals including Artforum, Friezeand Parkett. Recent publications include essays on Franz Ackermann, Miroslaw Balka, Thomas Demand, Keith Edmier, Ellen Gallagher, Candida Höfer, Karen Kilimnik and Thomas Scheibitz. He has curated exhibitions at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Douglas Hyde Gallery, and Kerlin Gallery, Dublin, the Drawing Room, London and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York, as well as a forthcoming group exhibition, ‘Winter Palace‘, which opens in December at de Ateliers, Amsterdam.
In his talk, ‘The Continuing Story: text and narrative in contemporary Irish art’, Caoimhín Mac Giolla Léith will talk about developments in contemporary Irish art, which will lend context for the works presented in An Exhibition in Five Chapters. Léith’s talk will explore narrative in contemporary art and the use of text as a tool for artists in relationship to Ireland’s literary legacy founded upon the writing of the likes of James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, and WB Yeats.
CAC Info Lab
Fiona Hallinan, sometimes called Fink, is a Dublin-based artist recently graduated from an Msc in Multimedia Systems and currently undertaking an internship in New Media Education at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. Her work is concerned with patterns in society, technological fear and the interactions between human beings. She works in a range of media, including photography, sound, installation and drawing and in the organisation of art events.
Fiona Hallinan presents a video piece about the business to have grown since the arrival of Lithuanians and other New Europeans to Ireland. Constructed from stop-animation and real-time footage, the shelves of the ‘Lituanica‘ section of a grocery market are spliced with other imagery such as blackberries and shop fronts in this looping film.
Gerard Byrne is one of the most prominent artists currently working in Ireland and represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale in 2007. Byrne’s work often uses source material with layer upon layer of mediation and re-enactment. In 1984 and Beyond (2005–06) Byrne presents film and photographs that deal with discussions of the future from the past, a futro. A discussion between prominent science fiction writers that was printed as an article in Playboy magazine in 1963 provides the script for the piece. Filmed in Utrecht at Rietveldt’s Sonsbeek sculpture pavilion and the Kroller Muller museum, Dutch actors bring to life the discussion between the eminent authors that include Arthur C. Clark, Isaac Asimov and Algis Budrys.
The writers’ speculations range in topic from the melancholic to the comic, from humanity and sexuality, to technology and its hand in the everyday life in the future. The performances are considered, they do not pose to act as a documentary, but engage the viewer with a questioning sensibility. The photographs appear to be taken contemporaneous with the discussion, yet do not neatly establish an exact date. Time slipstreams throughout the piece presented in CAC’s former cinema hall – an embodiment of a bygone architectural modernism, fitting for the material.
‘An Exhibition in Five Chapters’ is supported by Culture Ireland and the Embassy of Ireland, Lithuania