‘Return to Irelantis’, by Sean Hillen


Opening: Thursday 11 February at 6:30pm
12 February – 10 April
Admission free

To launch the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Alliance Française in Dublin, a collection of acclaimed work by the important Irish artist Seán Hillen will be shown for the first time in Dublin since the 1990’s.
Best known for his ‘Irelantis’ series, where competing myths and visions cohabit a deliciously witty montage, Hillen is one of the most significant artists of his generation.
Hillen has also undertaken sculptural pieces, most recently the Omagh Bomb Memorial which has received both popular and critical acclaim.
As the ‘Irelantis’ images have come to be seen as the most vivid and emblematic expression of the dreams and anxieties of ‘Celtic Tiger’ Ireland, his works from the ‘Troubles’ era, based on his own gritty photographs, have become more widely-known internationally and are now studied as masterworks of the medium.


The ‘Irelantis’ images have since burrowed deep into Irish culture, appearing on nearly 20 book covers and in this exhibition the public will get a rare opportunity to see several of the delicate almost miniature original collages, together with a selection of a new definitive edition of archival prints.

From the book’s introduction by Fintan O’Toole
“Seán Hillen’s Irelantis images are maps of a world in which the imagination is part
of reality, the visual equivalent of the sound the sun makes as it sinks into the sea.
As soon as they strike the eye, Hillen’s collages also hit whatever remains of
the bold child within us. They have the lawless energy that impels people to draw
moustaches on photographs of the Mona Lisa, or to decorate mundane stories with fantastic lies…”

A full colour catalogue presenting the exhibited work will be available for sale at the Alliance Française.

Check also
Sean Hillen: http://www.seanhillen.com
Irelantis: http://www.irelantis.com

The Exhibitionist

From their web site:
“The Exhibitionist is a new journal focusing solely on the practice of exhibition making. The objective is to create a wider platform for the discussion of curatorial concerns, encourage a diversification of curatorial models, and actively contribute to the formation of a theory of curating.

The journal is a publication made by curators for curators and understands itself as a site for critical debate in regards to the practice of exhibition making. The Exhibitionist will be published twice a year and will follow a strict editorial structure that revolves around the analysis and examination of past, present, and future exhibitions and other curatorial ideas. Under the title Curators’ Favorites each issue will present three texts for which three curators will write a personal essay about their favorite exhibition, contemporary or historic. This will be followed by an in-depth look at a historically important exhibition in the section Back in the DayAssessments will comprise the core of the journal. Here four curators will focus on reviewing one significant contemporary exhibition from different points of view. Typologies opens up the debate around specific exhibition formats. The section Attitudes will feature a text by a member of the editorial board reflecting on the current state of exhibition making while Rear View invites a curator to reflect upon an exhibition s/he has recently curated. Every fourth issue a conversation about past contributions, the content and the form of the journal between some of the past contributors will offer a forum for self-reflexivity.”

Trouble of some kind

“On a chilly January morning 24 years ago, Corydon optometrist Jack Moss raised his new video camera to the sky over central Florida and captured one of the darkest moments in American space exploration the explosion of the shuttle Challenger.

In the videotape, a stream of white smoke behind the climbing shuttle shoots into view but Moss, his wife and a neighbor noticed immediately that More..something was amiss when the channel separated into two streams.

‘Thats trouble of some kind’, Moss can be heard saying. ‘That didnt look right.’

Moments later, someone is heard telling Moss that the Challenger had blown up.”

Via YouTube

The Artist is the New Artist

During the last two days – 4th and 5th of February –  I had the opportunity of following Paul Lowe’s Tweetcast from Photography next, an International Conference at Nordiska Museet in Stockholm. Paul Lowe is Course Director at the Masters in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the University of the Arts London, LCC.

The keynote speakers at the conference were Martin Barnes, Elizabeth Edwards, Jens Erdman Rasmussen, Joan M. Schwartz and Martin Lister.

Thanks to the magic of the hashtags (#photonext) you can now re-read the broadcast and share some very interesting points raised – Jens Erdman Rasmussen curator Danish National Museum of Photography requoted ‘museums are concentration camps for art’. You can follow the whole list of tweets tagged #photonext

I asked Paul Lowe through Twitter if he could pass on a question to Jens Erdman Rasmussen, one that troubles me:
is the curator the new artist?

Coincidentally, yesterday, while Paul Lowe was broadcasting from  Sweden, some of us MAVIS students had a field day with artist Sean Lynch.

If I have learnt anything from Sean is definitely that the Artist is the new Artist, and perhaps also the new Curator – or has it always been? At some point, we spoke about the role of the curator in the preparation of his last exhibitions. After a long and very interesting answer he asserted and resumed that ‘not much, really’ – joking then about our future as students of Visual Arts Practices on a Curatorial strand.

But the thing is, when an artist develops his or her own practice in such a methodic and persistent way as Sean Lynch does, exhausting research paths as an everyday strategy, the role of the curator in shaping the presentation of the work is already done. Is it not?

These conversations remind me of a great post by EYECURIOUS entitled, Word of the Year 2009, where the concept of curator is re-evaluated and polished.

‘Ten Miles Round’ by Jackie Nickerson

Two gates, From the exhibition "Ten Miles Round". © Jackie Nickerson 2009Ten Miles Round, Jackie Nickerson

Opening: November 25, 6.30pm. Exhibition continues until January 24 2010.

The Gallery of Photography is proud to present the premiere showing of a new body of work by Jackie Nickerson, one of the foremost photographic artists working today. In ‘Ten Miles Round’, Jackie Nickerson (Winner of the AIB Prize) explores the predominately rural community around her home in coastal Co Louth. In large-scale colour landscapes and portraits, she builds a psychological portrait of her community. The landscapes challenge conventional notions of the picturesque, offering instead a more engaged view of the land. Through Nickerson’s lens, muddy, rutted lanes and straggly hedgerows are imbued with the quiet poetry of the everyday. People and place are united by the distinctive, cloud-filtered, northern light. Infused with a subtle grace, the work is a profound meditation on what it is, and how it feels, to belong.

A full-colour 48-page catalogue accompanies the exhibition. It features 17 exquisitely reproduced images and an essay by Aidan Dunne. It is available in the Gallery Bookshop, price €10. The photographs are all lightjet digital c-prints mounted on dibond and framed. Each piece is available for sale in a limited edition of 3.

Artist’s Talk: Jackie Nickerson will talk about her work, on Wednesday December 2nd at 1.15pm in the Gallery. Admission free, all welcome.

About the artist: In 2008, Jackie Nickerson was nominated by the Gallery of Photography for the AIB Prize, which she won. Much coveted, the AIB Prize is one of the major art awards in Europe and identifies artists of exceptional talent. She won the Curtin O’Donoghue prize in 2009 and has been shortlisted for the John Kobal award and nominated for several prestigious prizes such as the Becks Futures Award and the Prix Pictet. In 2002, Jonathan Cape published FARM, a book of portraits of farm workers taken all over southern Africa and in 2008 SteidlMACK published Faith which captures Catholic religious communities in Ireland. Her work is represented in many important public and private collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin and the Santa Barbara Museum. She is represented by Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

All events and access to the Gallery are free.

For further information, press scans or to interview the artist, contact The Gallery of Photography