Activating Pangea



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DAC Gallery, Los Angeles

April 2016 

‘Activating Pangea’ is three-year series of exhibitions curated by MART {Dublin}, who will work with targeted Los Angeles based galleries and art fairs, to strategically promote leading Irish Contemporary Visual Artists.

This first exhibition in the series seeks to activate Pangea, an imagining of our pre-human world without borders, without physical and cultural barriers that prevent new ways of being and thinking. ‘Activating Pangea’ will showcase artwork reflecting on geopolitics and how we understand our own identity and culture over time and space, as we transverse and negotiate real and imagined places in a global context.  Artists create imagined spaces and show us a world that can never exist, it is their role to present reality through a twisted and subverted looking-glass. Imagined places can exaggerate and distort reality; the experience of being in places we have pre-conceived seems to force a new reality upon us.

Globalisation, and increased movement and communication across place and national borders, has created both a crisis and a critical rethinking of cultural identity. And yet recent anxieties emerging in the context of an immigration crisis in europe and the middle east, have seen the tightening of national boundaries. The exhibition series will see artists produce work that reflects on how diaspora and migration, the movement of people and cultures across space, has the ability to question fixed ideas of identity.  

Though genetic codes and their cultural inscriptions each person takes their ‘brand’ wherever they go. And yet our experiences of our own identity as we age over time, can make it problematic to hold on to a persistent identity; our understanding of a unique set of characteristics, qualities and features that make us who we are. In particular they will reflect on experiences of Irish Cultural Identity and Diaspora.

Generously Supported by Culture IrelandCulture_Ireland-2016_Colour

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Echo Chamber | EUCIDA 2017 EXHIBITION




Echo Chamber – EUCIDA 2017 Exhibition  

Featuring: Jeanne Briand, Adam Gibney, Fabien Leaustic, Helen Mac Mahon, Rasa SmitePaula Vitola.

Curated by Matthew Nevin of MART, Assistant Curator, Deirdre Morrissey.

Lūznava Manor Rēzeknes | Latvia: 9th June – 31st August 2017

RUA RED | Ireland: 16th June – 5th August 2017 

Gantner Multimedia Space | France: 24th June – 22nd July 2017

 

European Connections in Digital Arts / EUCIDA is a 3 year project funded by Creative Europe led by RUA RED Ireland in partnership Gantner Multimedia Space, France and Lūznava Manor Rēzeknes, Latvia. The Project aspires to work collaboratively while demonstrating innovation and high standards contributing to making the Digital Arts sector highly visible internationally.

“an echo chamber is a metaphorical description of a situation in which information, ideas, or beliefs are amplified or reinforced by transmission and repetition inside an “enclosed” system, where different or competing views are censored, disallowed, or otherwise underrepresented.”[link]

As a curatorial platform for creation of new work, Echo Chamber has encouraged the dialogue of art and technology as a means of sharing experience and creative practice. Exhibiting simultaneously across Ireland, Latvia and France it showcases six contemporary visual artists, two from each of the host countries, whose practice is rooted in various aspects of digital technology.

Its primary aim to create an accessible conversation and debate between the digital arts, technology, politics, culture and society in an accessible way to a European wide public. The three parallel exhibitions, which mirror each other, will analyse how culture, politics and socio-economical issues are bounced around, applauded, and never truly open within one’s own Echo Chamber; i.e colleagues, friends, families etc.

The exhibitions provide a platform for the artists to push conversation beyond the normal realms of an art audience or local groups, to a further international and trans European audience. By encouraging participating artists to explore and reinvent material, technologies and methodologies, Matthew Nevin, the curator, has worked alongside the artists to re/produce work that can provoke the limitations of the ‘Echo Chamber of the normal gallery environment, into producing powerful, informative and experimental new work to a wider audience.  

These artists, often working as the mirror for society, will create new dialogues that challenge conventional views on politics and culture; pushing for examination of our preconceived expectations of what is contemporary art and its relevance to the society we live in. The curator has encouraged the artists to be reactionary and politically engaged in their approach to their practice and tease out new radical ways of viewing and perceiving their art works through technology.

Helen Mac Mahon, who creates artwork through experimentation and investigation into the phenomena of light, movement, perception and space, has produced ‘Mirror Affect’ an interactive piece playing with the mirrored image using a combination of everyday objects and live digital technology.

Jeanne Briand forges links with new technology and craftsmanship to create beautiful sculptural pieces that reference fantasy and trans-aesthetics. Briand’s ‘Gamete Glass’ propose a new form of life, and the origin of the sounds they emit serves to raise questions in the viewer’s mind about the artifice or real existence of the animated forms.  

Fabien Leaustic creates sculptural work which while physical has an ephemeral aesthetic. Leaustic’s work ‘Hello World’ activated by the presence of the visitor disturbs our interpretation of our world, evoking an emotional response juggling a naive optimism and a dark poetic duality that defines us.  

Rasa Smite is an artist, network researcher and cultural innovator, working with science and emerging media technologies. Smite’s artwork ‘Talk to Me’ is a human-plant communication interface, through which people were asked to send encouraging messages via text & social media to the growing plants, “equipped” with web-cam, wi-fi and loudspeakers.

Adam Gibney’s artwork is generally realised through sculpture, installation, sound and video. ‘Conundrum 8: I am somewhere between we and they’ questions the political and personal use of pronouns. Playing a key role in the construction of the ‘self’ and the ‘other’, pronouns help toward the creation and division of societies. 

Paula Vitola works through media art & archeology, researching relationships between human and technology. Her work encompasses experimenting with technology and nature, programming and gadget-hacking.

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