Activating Pangea: Acts to Objects
Curated by: Ciara Scanlan & Matthew Nevin of MART Gallery Dublin
Runs: March 15th – April 29nd 2018
Gallery: LACE, Los Angeles.
Artists: Aine Phillips, Amanda Coogan, Helen Mac Mahon, Margaret O’Brien,
Katherine Nolan, Eleanor Lawler, Laura O’Connor, and Jane Fogarty.
Opening Reception: March 15th, 2018, 7-10 PM
Art and cultural practice often seeks to challenge the primacy of the visual in Western culture, as dominated by a pervasive masculinised privileged gaze (Irigaray). To affect change women artists too have sought ways to refute, undermine and evade this primacy of the visual in art practice in order to find a visual language and a voice that can be heard (Mary Kelly).
So too have artists harnessed and heightened the spectacle of the visual as means to staking a claim to the authorship of cultural practice, and thereby a form of subjectivity. It is in the tradition of these ‘attention grabbers’ that the artists in this show employ strategies that arrest and twist the gaze, that clamber for visibility. The artworks play with and investigate the idea of art as spectacle, whether refracting and manipulating light, playing on expectations of material form and colour, or performing acts that intervene in social space and norms.
As a set of work disparate in form, from sculpture to performance, together they speak to ideas of spectacle. The art works shun the lingering forces that continue to undermine women’s right to cultural authorship, unapologetic in staking their claim to visibility. The philosophical terms that frame westernised art practices assert ‘calling attention to’ as a critical strategy: these art works glisten, tousle and shout.
The exhibition is staged in Los Angeles, the locus of production of the Hollywood spectacle, that much early feminist discourse critiqued for its dominant gendered narratives that constantly position women as passive objects to the active masculine look, that continues to persist in new forms. Bringing together artists from Los Angeles and Ireland that span a number of generations, in order to explore the role of spectacle in feminist practice today.
‘Activating Pangea: The Voyage’
Nov 5th – Dec 4th 2016
CB1 Gallery Los Angeles
Dublin based curators Matthew Nevin & Ciara Scanlan of MART have embarked on a 3 year initiative to bring leading and emerging contemporary Irish art to Los Angeles through their series ‘Activating Pangea’.
This the second exhibition in the series titled ‘Activating Pangea: The Voyage’ showcases recent work by Irish Artists Brian Duggan and Adam Gibney. It reflects on geopolitics over time and space, as we transverse language and negotiate real and imagined places in a global context. The artworks crossing in the gallery are Adam Gibney’s ‘Euclid, I miss you…’ and Brian Duggan’s ‘A Cause for concern but not alarm’.
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Gibney’s work targets the quest for certainty. He states, “Man has created an abstract language in Mathematics to convey underlying governing principles of our reality, and in so doing a platonic world is created. This world can often become difficult or impossible to convey in everyday language; it is in these places that our imagination and perception are tested.” In this exhibition the points of which Gibney’s work targets reality, linguistics and technologies intermingle with the symbolic annotations of the everyday.
Duggan’s work is informed by the way in which we live now. Duggan’s work questions the aspirations and assumptions that are interlinked within the scientific and social framework of energy consumption and legacy planning. The systems in place are always evolving, attempting to catch up to an elusive plateau that is inherently unstable. Through the work presented here Duggan “plunges the viewer into a realm where seemingly casual navigation of space bespeaks chilling (hi)stories”
‘The Voyage’ allows the visitor to refocus their own experiences and memories through the interpretation and assimilation of language and analyse their own exploitative journeys through space and time. Focusing on the quest for answers of our own existence and our place within an imagined world without borders, without physical and cultural barriers, the exhibition suggests new ways of being and thinking, while investigating the conditions of concerning events and symbolics of reality.
Download the Exhibition Handout Here for full details.