Project Arts Centre presents

Exhibitions

CONJURING FOR BEGINNERS

Dates: 03 Jul - 11 Aug

Show Time: 11.00am - 8.00pm

Sam Keogh (IE), Janice Kerbel (CA/UK), Zbynek Baladrán (CZ), Susan Philipsz (UK), Daniel Dewar & Grégory Gicquel (FR), Angela Fulcher (UK/IE) and Ruth E. Lyons (IE)

Curated by Tessa Giblin

ADMISSION FREE

The Visual Arts department is taking over Project Arts Centre this summer to present three unique exhibitions and our most ambitious project to date.

Conjuring for Beginners will transform the building; the Space Upstairs will become a giant gallery filled with sculpture on an enormous scale, by one of Ireland’s most promising young artists, Sam Keogh;  the Cube will be home to a trio of artworks, light, sound and video installations by Janice Kerbel (CA/UK), Zbynek Baladrán (CZ) and the 2010 Turner Prize winning artist Susan Philipsz (UK); and in the gallery, the final piece of the exhibition will be a collection of playful sculptures as the works of Daniel Dewar & Grégory Gicquel (FR), Angela Fulcher (UK/IE) and Ruth E. Lyons (IE) play out side by side.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of talks and special events

The call of “overture and beginners” by a stage director prompts a flurry of activity, the call for ‘beginners’ warning actors to be on stage before the curtain rises. These beginners are both sculpture and tableaux: frozen in their places, creating the illusion that time is about to be released from its inert pause, the show about to begin. Exhibitions are also shows, but with durations that stretch over weeks rather than hours and with a cast and crew who are fixed in their animation, in tableaux, loops and scenes. Both in the space of theatre and in the scorching light of the white cube, artists become conjurers who create images and experiences, sometimes supported by the illusions of their apparatus.

This summer Project Arts Centre throws open its doors to the visual arts, presenting three exhibitions in all three spaces – the two theatre auditoriums and the gallery. Across the multi-disciplinary arts centre, exhibitions include a major new commission by Sam Keogh (IE), a group show featuring works by Daniel Dewar & Grégory Gicquel (FR), Angela Fulcher (UK/IE) and Ruth E. Lyons (IE), as well as an ‘empty’ exhibition with artworks by Zbynek Baladrán (CZ), Janice Kerbel (CA) and Susan Philipsz (UK).

Sam Keogh’s major new commission Terrestris is an exercise in excavation. Sealed in the seemingly infinite darkness of Project Arts Centre’s largest theatre space, Keogh’s installation focuses on clusters of small, carefully lit sculptures and plinths each apparently mined from an unlit, hulking, monumental form in the centre of the space. Simultaneously repulsive and attractive, Keogh’s forms are reminiscent of minerals, crystals or rock samples, but their toxic colouration and obviously artificial constituents speak of the stuff that the earth cannot digest, rather than anything produced naturally. The shared provenance of Terrestris and the contingency of its status (its reliance on context, belief, ideology or market value) claims a radical democratization of material. From this base level of equality, Terrestris claims its agency-as-matter.

Project Art Centre’s second theatre space forms the apparatus for a group exhibition that is notionally empty, with all seating and sets removed. With installations by Zbynek Baladrán, Janice Kerbel and Susan Philipsz, each of the artworks has its own motivation, draws our attention to its formal elements, and is largely estranged from the arts plastique of the visual arts. Zbynek Baladrán’s short film installation Night of the World is focused on the moments before a film begins, Janice Kerbel’s Kill the Workers! is a play performed solely by theatrical lighting, and Susan Philipsz’ sound installation I See a Darkness is an aural experience that gradually translates into sculpture. The exhibition-in-repertory is, like much theatre, a durational experience. Unfolding artwork after artwork, the exhibition harnesses the skills and illusionary strategies of technical theatre, while experimenting with the structures, display and scenography of contemporary visual art exhibitions.

Set within the gallery space of Project Arts Centre is the capsized reality of an island scene. Grounded by Amphibious Sound, a swarming, black, neoprene wetsuit sculpture by Ruth E. Lyons, and roofed by Hurry on Sundown, a billowing, multi-coloured hanging sculpture by Angela Fulcher, this is a place where objects, artefacts and artworks exist contrary to their original material construction. Like the illusionist’s apparition, works by Daniel Dewar & Grégory Gicquel resemble gigantic totemic necklaces or quasi-ceremonial findings, their precious ceramic and wood forms twisting the building blocks of contemporary culture. In this space, the conviction of the exotic or other is as imaginary as the island itself.

Amidst Conjuring for Beginners, are piles of publications for the public to freely take away. Exposing the ideas behind the artworks throughout the entire building, or jettisoning away into the reflections of a philosopher, each of the publications has its own purpose. Stacked like worn pillars, the subjects of these humbly produced books range from works of literature and experimental writing, to art works and a colouring-in book – inspiring children and adults to conjure the scene.

Biographies

Sam Keogh (b. 1985, Ireland) is currently pursuing an MFA at Goldsmiths College in London. He graduated from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, in 2009 with a BFA in Painting. Recent exhibitions include After the Future, eva International, Limerick, 2012 (curated by Annie Fletcher); WORK HEAD, NCAD Gallery, Dublin, 2012; Gracelands, Co. Leitrim, 2011 (curated by Vaari Claffey); Tool Use, Oonagh Young Gallery, Dublin, 2011 (curated by David Beatty); RepoMan, Kerlin Gallery, Dublin, 2011; An Exchange with Sol LeWitt, MassMOCA, New York/Massachusetts, 2011; Before Commandments, Shudder Gallery, Vancouver BC, 2011; BABEL (solo exhibition), Artlink Gallery, Co. Donegal, 2010; The Swimming Naked Prophecy, Mermaid Arts Centre, Wicklow, 2010 and Aion Experiments, Project Arts Centre, Dublin, 2010 (curated by Padraic E Moore).

Daniel Dewar (1976, United Kingdom) & Grégory Gicquel (1975, France) both live and work in Paris. They both studied at Ecole Regionale des Beaux Arts de Rennes, France. Dewar and Gicquel have been collaborating together since 1998. Their work favours a physical reengagement with materials and processes, above any reliance on using the conventional readymade. They often adopt craft techniques, from an amateur starting point, to enable the realisation of their ideas. That this appropriation of the handmade and the crafted is a critical, rather than a reactionary response, is made evident by the artists’ knowingly absurd pop- and folk-inflected artworks. Recent solo exhibitions include Crêpe Suzette, Spike Island, Bristol, 2012; Dewar & Gicquel, Galerie Loevenbruck, Paris, 2011; Mason Massacre, Les Collections de St Cyprien, France, 2008; Chapelle du Genêteil, Centre d’Art Contemporain, Château-Gontier and Dewar & Gicquel, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, both 2007. Their work has also featured in group exhibitions including Lost in LA, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Los Angeles, 2012; Exposition des artistes du prix Marcel Duchamp, Château de Tours, France; The Armory Show 2011, New York City and Making is Thinking, Witte de With, Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, 2011.

Angela Fulcher (b. 1975, lives and works in Cork City, Ireland) graduated from IADT Dun Laoghaire in 2009 with a first class honours MA in Visual Arts Practice. She holds a BA Hons Degree in Fine Art from the Crawford College of Art and Design, Cork, and also studied History of Art and Design at the University of the Arts London Camberwell. She works primarily in the mediums of sculpture, installation and photography. Recent exhibitions include Crystal Cabinet, The Black Mariah, TriskelArts Centre, Cork, curated by Mary Conlon, 2012; A Collection of Lovers Lost Mistakes III, The Black  Mariah in collaboration with Broadstone Studios, Dublin Contemporary Circle Programme, 2011; Hammer and Feather – Experiments in Space, curated by Mary Conlon at the Niland Gallery, Galway, 2011; Terminal Convention, Cork Airport, Art Fair showing with Black Mariah, 2011; Welcome to the Neightbourhood, Askeaton Contemporary Arts, Limerick, 2010; Game-Play, Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray, 2010 and Surplus Value, Occupy-Space, Limerick, curated by Michele Horrigan, 2010.

Ruth E. Lyons (b. 1983, Dublin, Ireland) holds a BA in Fine Art from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin. Lyons works primarily in sculpture. Through an ambiguous use of familiar forms she disrupts the relationship between physical reality and information and gives form and space to a ‘matter reality’, making reference to the constant and infinite potential of matter and world. Selected projects include NCAD Gallery, Good Hatchery Show, Dublin, 2012; Sky is the limit, Public Art Commission, St. Eoin National School, Co Meath, 2011; Islanded in a Sea of Stars, The Lab, Foley St, Dublin, 2011; RepoMan (group show), Kerlin Gallery, Dublin, 2011 and Everyman is an island, Inish Turk Beg, Co Mayo, 2010. In 2012 Lyons was made a Temple Bar Gallery and Studios Associate Member. She has also been awarded the Fire Station Sculpture Bursary (2011) and the Arts Council of Ireland Visual Artist Bursary (2011). She is a founding member and co-director of The Good Hatchery (an artist led initiative in Daingean, Co Offaly).

Zbynek Baladrán (b. 1973, Prague, Czechoslovakia) is an author, visual artist and curator. He studied art history at the Charles University Philosophical Faculty in Prague from 1992-1996, and from 1997-2003 at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts in the studio of visual communication. He co-founded Galerie Display, which was established in Prague in 2001, and in 2007 merged with tranzit.cz into transit-display, where he continues to oversee the exhibition program. Recent exhibitions include The Nervous System with Jirí Kovanda, curated by Juan Pablo Macías, Milano Kunstverein, Milano, Italy 2011; What I Do Not See, curated by Boris Ondrei?ka, Tranzit Studios, Bratislava, Slovakia, 2010; Cognitive Maps, hunt kastner, Prague, Czech Republic, 2009 and Time Crunch, Castillo/corrales, Paris, France, 2008. Group exhibitions include State of Affairs, Space Through Ideological Appropriation, curated by Borbala Szalai, AMT Project, Bratislava, Slovakia; From the Closed World to the Infinite Universe, curated by Marc Bembekoff, Le Qartier, Centre de’art contemporain, Quimper, France; Between the First and Second Modernity, 1985-2012, curated by Jiri Sevcik, Edith Jerabková, and Jana Sevcik; The Beginning of the Century, curated by Pavlina Morganová, Pilsen Regional Museum, Pilsen (all 2012).

Janice Kerbel (b. 1969, Canada) lives and works in London. She is known for rigorous ‘studies’ that are at once realisable and imaginary.  Her diverse body of work includes: Bank Job (1999), a detailed masterplan to rob a Coutts Bank in London; Deadstar (2006), a town plan for a new ghost town; Ballgame (2009-12), a scripted play-by-play commentary of a statistically average baseball game; and most recently Kill the Workers! (2011), a play written for theatrical lights. Recent solo exhibitions include The Arts Club of Chicago (2012); i8 Gallery, Rejkjavik, Iceland, 2012; Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff Centre, Canada (2012);  Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, Germany (2011); Chisenhale Gallery, London (2011); Art Now, Tate Britain (2010); and greengrassi, London (2009). Selected group exhibitions include People Things Exit Enter, Catriona Jeffries Gallery, Vancouver (2011); Cactus Craze, Kunstwerke, Berlin (2010); and Poor. Old. Tired. Horse., ICA, London (2009).

Susan Philipsz (b. 1965, Glasgow) lives and works in Berlin. Best known for her sound installations, Philipsz originally trained as a sculptor, having received her BFA in sculpture from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in 1993, and her MFA from the University of Ulster, Belfast, in 1994. In 2010 Philipsz won the Turner Prize for her work Lowlands. Recent solo exhibitions include Close To Me, Palazzo Reale, Milan, 2012;  It Means Nothing To Me, Mizuma One Gallery, Beijing, 2012; We Shall Be All, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, 2011; The Cuckoos Nest, Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin, Germany, 2011; If I With You Would Go, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, 2011; Seven Tears, Ludwig Forum Aachen, Germany, 2011; You Are Not Alone, Haus des Rundfunks, Berlin, Germany, 2011; Surround Me, Artangel, London, 2010; Lowlands, Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art, Glasgow, 2010; I See a Darkness, Tanya Bonkdar Gallery, New York, 2010; White Winter Hymnal, Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, 2010 and When Day Closes, IHME commission, Helsinki, Finland, 2010. Her work has also been featured in multiple group exhibitions, including dOCUMENTA 13, Kassel, Germany, 2012; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 2010 for which Philipsz contributed a piece commissioned especially for the exhibition, as well as those at Tate Britain, London, 2010; Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis, 2009; and the Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, 2008.

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