Thursday, April 21, 2011

Dublin Contemporary 2011

One of the cultural things I am most looking forward to this year is Dublin Contemporary 2011, the first of what is envisioned as being a large scale visual arts event taking place every five years. Both new and established Irish and international artists will feature in this major city-wide exhibition. According to the event website, the mission of Dublin Contemporary 2011 is to provide a dynamic experience of contemporary art through a number of urgent themes relevant to the contemporary society. Such dynamism is intended to transcend the (perhaps more usual) "contemplative" aspect of the encounter between visual art and the viewer. As someone who is particularly interested in the interaction between visual art and text, I am thrilled that this event "will explore multiple areas of intellectual enquiry in order to foment unscripted encounters by visual artists, scholars, writers, philosophers, curators, musicians and the public at large". This year's theme of Dublin Contemporary rings familiar to those who know their Yeats: Terrible Beauty—Art, Crisis, Change & The Office of Non-Compliance.

The first 15 artists were announced earlier this year. The Irish artists will include Brian O’Doherty, James Coleman, Niamh O’Malley and Richard Mosse. The international artists so far named represent a wide variety of geographical backgrounds. Nina Berman, The Bruce High Quality Foundation and Lisa Yuskavage hail from the United States. Tania Bruguera comes from Cuba, while a South American perspective is provided by Fernando Bryce of Peru. From the opposite side of the world come Chen Chieh-Jen (Taiwan) and Wang Du (China). From closer to home, Dexter Dalwood and Jim Lambie will represent the UK. They will be joined by Omer Fast (Israel ), Goldiechiari (Italy ), Patrick Hamilton (Belgium) and Superflex (Denmark). I am looking forward to further names being announced later on.

Dublin Contemporary will join a family of large European visual arts events. The Venice Biennale is probably the best known, but I grew up in Finland with ARS taking place every few years. By chance, ARS11 in Helsinki, this year, celebrates 50 years of the exhibition series. I am very happy that the same year will see the first event of the same kind in my adopted home city.

The dates of Dublin Contemporary are 6th September-31st October 2011.

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