TULCA Festival of Visual Arts, Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture and Fire Station Artists' Studios present:
Curated by Helen Carey
Nun’s Island Theatre, Galway
6 - 27 March 2020
Dominic Thorpe (Ireland)
Veronika Merklein (Austria & Germany)
Andrej Mircev (Croatia)
Nikoleta Markovic (born in Yugoslavia)
Eunseo Yi (Republic of Korea)
TULCA Festival of Visual Arts and Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture present: UnSelfing; a programme of exhibitions, performances and encounters with visual art taking place in Galway and across the country, this year. The programme takes as its theme Iris Murdoch’s concept of ‘UnSelfing’; the idea that in order to find truth, it is necessary to seek outside of one’s self; to be attentive to the world, to be curious about the people, places and ideas that surround us.
The inaugural exhibition of the UnSelfing Programme, Deep States, opens on Friday 6th March at 6pm at Nun’s Island Theatre.
Deep States explores the complex states of freedom and responsibility. This exhibition examines the articulation and understanding of these states; how they inform social norms, and how this impacts the personality and character of both the individual and society.
Realising the unconscious as well as the conscious is a battlefield for dominance, can overwhelm: get your rival fighting on at least two fronts is the cornerstone of military strategy. In this exhibition, the central enquiry centres on states within both the individual and the collective, engaged in a struggle for dominance and primacy. Whatever triumphs, the exercise of power - regulated, observed or controlled - is deeply complex, often contradictory, often unknown. The battle, however, never ends, the struggle begins again. This is the human experience.
In the exhibition Deep States, artists Dominic Thorpe, Veronika Merklein and Red People work on the psychology deeply embedded within often observable, sometimes hidden frameworks, placed within the black box in its darkness of Nuns Island in Galway on Europe’s periphery. This site, a former oratory, is an important element of the exhibition, being a trace of the past, of a different society. With performances at the end of the exhibition, the audience is invited to experience this exhibition a number of times, suggesting the shifting shape of what seems to be manifest.
What Dominic Thorpe addresses is sentient information, the senses and the fault lines between what is locked in and what is manifest, what is manipulated. In video and mixed media, photography and performance, Thorpe pushes the matrix of human endurance and the senses, exploring power and vulnerability.
Veronika Merklein suggests the information presented reveals a narrative the truth of which is embedded in social contexts and power relations. Response to the photographic works and video works is a function of complex, highly political and vulnerable responses forming the controlled matrix of power relations in society. Merklein’s performance reaches deeply into the audience’s humanity.
Red People - Andrej Mircev, Nikoleta Markovic and Eunseo Yi - trace the scars of boundaries and limits, of ‘spectres and leftovers’ becoming the props of new desire and hope. As the next element in their installation of the text of Everything Divided as a wall of books, their installation for Nuns’ Island draws on the theatrical setting as well as the West of Ireland in terms of memory, absence, and archaeology.
“In an increasingly unstable world, it is to artists we look to articulate our greatest fears and most powerful hopes. In this exhibition at the commencement of TULCA for Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture, it is a pleasure to present Deep States with artists who ask us to feel the fear, do it anyway and then breath the freedom. This exhibition with its installation and performances acknowledges the complexity of human experience.” Helen Carey, Curator
Helen Marriage, Creative Director Galway 2020 said: "Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture is delighted to be working with TULCA Festival of Visual Arts to showcase these five European artists in Galway as part of this year of cooperation and collaboration. We look forward to experiencing their intriguing combination of installation and performance."
Performances and events towards the end of the exhibition will pursue the traces of questions raised in the space through the exhibition.
Deep States - Opening Preview
Date: Friday 6 March 2020
Venue: Nuns Island Theatre, Galway
More info: www.tulca.ie/unselfing2020/deep-states
Photo: Dominic Thorpe. Image from the performance Table Bite. Galeria Michaela Stock. Vienna. 2019. Image taken by Lea Sonderegger