16 March - 15 October 2020

Jaki Irvine: 20 Years and 2 Metres from Vada

We are proud to have worked with artist Jaki Irvine on 20 Years and 2 Metres from Vada, a new Visual Arts Commission that, through the lens of our current condition, revisits and reflects upon the two decades spent in the big blue building, that opened on the 12th June 2000.

To celebrate its opening in 2000, Jaki Irvine curated the inaugural exhibition, Somewhere Near Vada. Spread out over all three floors of the new (empty and unfinished) Project building, the exhibition consisted entirely of moving image works by James Coleman, Adam Chodzko, Anneke A. de Boer, Zoe Walker, Tacita Dean, Bas Jan Ader, Fishli & Weiss, Marcel Boodthaers, and Gary Hill. There were additional screenings of the documentary Not For Sale: Feminism and Art in the USA during the 1970’s by Laura Cottingham. The show marked the first public encounter with the new space, including what were to become the non-public offices, backstage and utility spaces that currently make up the building.

Twenty years later, after two decades of change and in the midst of this strange and unsettling time, Jaki Irvine presents 20 Years and 2 Metres from Vada, a new audio piece that takes us on an imaginary tour around the building, bridging past and present through a sonic folding of time and space.


20 Years and 2 Metres from Vada, audio, 17 minutes
Commissioned and produced by Project Arts Centre in 2020.
Sound excerpts from Gary Hill: Why Do Things Get in a Muddle (Come on Petunia) 1984; Tacita Dean: The Story of Beard, 1992; Adam Chodzko: Nightvision, 1998; Anneke A. de Boer: Black Pianino (1997); David Fischli & Peter Weiss: Der Lauf der Dinge [The Way Things Go](1987) and conversation excerpts with Lívia Páldi.

Curator of commission: Lívia Páldi, Curator of Visual Arts, Project Arts Centre






‘Somewhere Near Vada’, 2000, Project Arts Centre, Dublin. Installation set in the Cube for Gary Hill: Why Do Things Get into a Muddle (Come on Petunia), video, 12 minutes, colour, sound, 1984.
Photo and courtesy Jaki Irvine.

Sound excerpts:
David Fischli & Peter Weiss: Der Lauf der Dinge [The Way Things Go](1987)
© Peter Fischli and David Weiss, Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery
Over two decades, Jaki Irvine has built a substantial and highly acclaimed body of film and video art that is profoundly concerned with the limits of human knowledge and experience. Irvine’s engrossing, elliptical narratives are at times composed of fragments of everyday life—mundane incidents that, viewed via Irvine’s singular, assiduously selective gaze, become occasions of heightened strangeness. Equally, Irvine’s films might concentrate on situations of extreme human feeling; of love and hate, or possession and loss. In each case, however, she points to ways that stable meanings seem to slip away just as they appear possible. In Irvine’s art, the world can appear one moment to be full of connections and coincidences, full of possibilities of reliable knowledge, and yet, a moment later, the same world can seem utterly devoid of meaning.
One recurring interest in this regard has been in human/animal connections, or rather, our inevitable human disconnection. Irvine has been fascinated with the ways in which animals can seem like us, and we like them, yet at the same time they have a perception of the world that we can never inhabit (and barely imagine). In studying such subjects, Irvine weaves together non-linear narratives in which image, voice-over and musical score variously overlap, coalesce and diverge. These languid explorations of human interaction with the natural world, the built environment, and with other humans are suffused with a melancholic lyricism and leavened by a dark, dreamlike humour. Consistently, Irvine’s art attends to the boundaries between body and mind, self and other, human and animal and, in the seductive mysteries of her remarkable visuals, between the real and the imagined.
Jaki Irvine currently lives and works in Dublin and Mexico and is a regular artist advisor at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam.
Recent solo exhibitions include: Ack Ro’ Kerlin Gallery, Dublin, (2020); If the Ground Should Open…, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, (2016–2017); City of Women, The LAB, Dublin, (2010); Seven Folds in Time, Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin (2009); In a World Like This, The Model, Sligo, (2006), travelling to Chisenhale Gallery, London (2007); The Silver Bridge, SMART, Amsterdam (2006); Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2005); Nightingale, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, (2005 &1999); Plans for forgotten works, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, (2005); Ivana’s Answers, Delfina Project Space, London, (2001); “Fledermaus she said….”, Staatliche Kunsthalle in Baden-Baden, Germany, (1998) and Eyelashes, Project Arts Centre, Dublin, (1996).
In 1997, Irvine represented Ireland at the 47th Venice Biennale.
Source: Kerlin Gallery, Dublin

Skip to content