Project is delighted to share that The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media, Catherine Martin T.D. has announced the selection of artist, Eimear Walshe with Sara Greavu and Project Arts Centre as the curator, to represent Ireland at the 60th Venice Art Biennale in 2024.
The Venice Biennale is one of the most important international platforms for the visual arts, attracting over half a million visitors, including global curators, gallerists, art critics, and artists. It hosts some of the most exciting and challenging artists of our time represented in ambitious and, often, career-defining exhibitions. The selection of the team to represent Ireland was made following an open, competitive process with international jury members. Ireland at Venice is an initiative of Culture Ireland in partnership with the Arts Council.
Minister Martin, said: “I would like to congratulate Eimear Walshe, Sara Greavu and Project Arts Centre on being selected to represent Ireland at the 2024 Venice Art Biennale. Participation at the Venice Art Biennale increases awareness of Ireland’s strong visual arts sector and is an important moment in an artist’s career. My Department through Culture Ireland commissions Ireland in Venice in partnership with the Arts Council”.
Eimear Walshe (they/them) is an artist from Longford whose work in video, sculpture, publishing and performance traces the legacies of late 19th-century land contestation in Ireland and its relation to private property, sexual conservatism, and the built environment. Their pavilion for Venice 2024 will offer a new cultural synthesis that links our contemporary moment to the past, particularly to gendered and sexual legacies related to the history of land and housing activism – including the compromises made at the end of the 1880s, and the statecraft of the early 20th century. Working with a range of deeply talented collaborators, their work proposes a relationship with land and shelter driven by collective agency and community. This work will return to Ireland on a national tour in a variety of venues across the island.
On being selected, Eimear remarked “I’m very proud to be representing Ireland at Venice this coming April. My practice is deeply enriched by being embedded in Ireland, in a place and with people so beloved to me. At the same time, my work emerges from the context of a nation in escalating crisis; this is the subject of my work. With Sara Greavu as curator, we aim to make a pavilion in tribute to those who persist, against the odds, in being shelter for each other.”
With less than a year until its opening, the 2024 Venice Biennale has begun to take shape. National pavilions have begun to announce their plans including Estonia with artist Edith Karlson; John Akomfrah, representing Great Britain; and the Canadian pavilion with Kapwani Kiwanga. Adriano Pedrosa, artistic director of the São Paulo Museum of Art, was selected to curate the main exhibition, which is not formally related to the national pavilions.
The exhibition is curated by Sara Greavu and Project Arts Centre. Greavu, who is Curator of Visual Arts at Project, says, “The Venice Biennale offers an incredible opportunity to connect the ideas, practices and urgencies of contemporary art in Ireland to those of artists, thinkers and publics internationally. Eimear Walshe’s extraordinary work speaks of and from a precarious generation, and proposes new ways to claim a sense of kinship, place and love; refusing estrangement from history and community, language and tradition. We are so thrilled to work with them for Ireland’s representation in Venice. The pavilion of Ireland at Venice will resonate within the larger framework of Adriano Pedrosa 60th Venice Biennale, even as it draws our attention to our own social and material lives, transforming our understanding of ourselves.”
Ireland was previously represented at the Venice Biennale by Niamh O’Malley (2022), Eva Rothschild (2019), Jesse Jones (2017), Sean Lynch (2015), Richard Mosse (2013).
Since 2005, national representation at the Venice Biennale has been a Government initiative led by Culture Ireland in partnership with The Arts Council. Both partners consider the Venice Biennale to be a remarkable opportunity for artists’ development and for Irish curators to work in an international context. Following their presentation, the Ireland at Venice exhibition will return for a National Irish Tour.
The Arts Council is excited to be in a position to continue to support the Irish presentation of the Ireland at Venice National Tour, as part of our commitment to the ten-year strategy: ‘Making Great Art Work’ which supports artists to create ambitious, innovative work and to engaging work.
An open call is issued biennially by Culture Ireland as Commissioner for Ireland at Venice to invite expressions of interest for the appointment of the Curator and Artist of Ireland’s National representation at Venice. The selection of the team to represent Ireland is made following an open, competitive process with international jury members, in partnership with Culture Ireland and The Arts Council.
Eimear Walshe (b. 1992, they/them) is an artist from Longford, currently working in Temple Bar Gallery and Studios, Dublin. Their work in video, sculpture, publishing and performance traces the legacies of late 19th century land contestation in Ireland and its relation to private property, sexual conservatism, and the built environment. They have recently exhibited with Van Abbemuseum, EVA International, the National Sculpture Factory, and Temple Bar Gallery and Studios. Their work is in the collections of the Arts Council and the Irish Museum of Modern Art. They travel widely across the island screening, reading, producing, and performing their work.
Sara Greavu (she/her) is the Curator of Visual Arts at Project Arts Centre, Dublin and a researcher, writer and organiser. She collaborates with artists, writers, thinkers, activists and others to make exhibitions, public programmes, publications and events. Recent projects include Avril Corroon’s GOT DAMP / PÚSCADH ANUAS at Project Arts Centre; the archive exhibition We realised the power of it, at EVA International in collaboration with Ciara Phillips and Derry Film and Video Workshop; and Knowledge is Made Here, an alternative educational project for young people made in partnership with the artist Andrea Francke.
Founded by artists in 1966, Project Arts Centre was Ireland’s first arts centre. As Ireland’s foremost centre for the development and presentation of contemporary arts, Project offers the public over 600 events annually & reaches an audience of over 50,000 people, as well as supporting the presentation of work, and national & international touring, by independent artists. Project works with an ever-widening diversity of artists across all art forms, exploring ambitious modes of engagement to make art exciting and accessible to new and existing audiences.
Previous Work by Eimear Walshe:
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