Where to start, I went to the preview of Dublin Contemporary 2011 in Earlsfort Terrace today and well, I was glad I went. This is a major new contemporary art exhibition which is taking place in Dublin for the first time this year ( from September 6th until October 31st ). Set to be the cultural highlight of the year, according to their website, Dublin Contemporary 2011 features almost 100 international artists from all five continents. Strangely enough, I’d have to say… my first impression was that it was “the usual kind of stuff ”. You know, rooms with a lot of typed pages to read, rooms with bits and pieces on the floor, rooms with video projections…
I must say that I loved the old building with its old-fashioned plumbing and electrical fittings, its ancient skylights and such. Even the names of previous occupants were still in evidence over some of the old office doors. ‘Oodles of Character’, I think they call it. I would’ve liked to see work that related to the building in some way but I didn’t think much of it did.
This is not going to be a review of the show because it’s a huge show and, to tell the truth, I was really there to enjoy the buzz and to meet up with old friends in the art world. But I wanted to mention Nevan Lahart’s piece. He never stops. Once again he has produced an incredible installation, this time with high- jumping beer cans. ( that’s the only way I can describe it ). I was also impressed with the installation of razor wire by Wilfredo Prieto, pictured above.
Another piece I liked was a sculpture by Liam O’Callaghan called Force Fit. Below is a piece by Claudio Parmigiagiani, one which I thought related well to the space. I must return and take a proper look next time, I have to admit that I spent most of the evening talking, rather than viewing the art.
One final comment: ‘Terrible Beauty’ is the theme of the show, times of tumultuous change etc. – in Ireland and in the wider world. I didn’t notice much work that commented on contemporary life in Ireland. Nevan Lahart’s did, and so did Brian Maguire’s but… There was a lot of anger and violence but, ‘ Terrible Beauty’ I didn’t see much of that. Any thoughts?