Exhibition Roundup - January

This is the first of what will be a monthly feature of the blog where I will write a little bit about a selection of exhibitions I have seen.

The Green On Red  is currently showing an exhibition of Patrick Hall's work. Most of this work was seen at his recently closed exhibition at IMMA but here there is an opportunity to see a much smaller selection of that work given a lot more space than it was at IMMA. There are also a number of new and older works that were not included in the  IMMA show on view here. The show consists of works on paper and a large painting, In the Vicinity of the Yellow Mountain (pictured below) which reminded me of Wolfgang Laib's work.

Patrick Hall , In the Vicinity of the Yellow Mountain (2007) , oil on canvas 152 x 157cm

Project Arts Centre until 26th Jan. There is an interesting video based on a magician called the Human Card Index - Arthur Lloyd, who could produce almost any kind of printed item from one of his pockets on request, conjures images into the air telling a story. The video is a witty play with images, their meanings, and connections between them. The rest of the exhibition is unrewarding and consists of a publication some dull minimal, sculptural constructions, and a film that pretentiously projects only at random. I was in the gallery for about twenty minutes and it didn't play during that time. I suppose this piece is intended to challenge the viewer's assumption that they will actually get to see the artwork when they go to an exhibition - hmmm.

Auélien Froment, still from Théatre de Poche

Coline Darke's exhibition  "The Capital Paintings"  is an installation  of 480 A4 size canvases. These paintings are the result of four years work. The Capital Paintings evolved from an earlier project by Darke (titled Capital) where he transcribed by hand the entire three volumes of Karl Marx’s ‘Das Capital’ onto 480 two dimensional objects.  He claims these objects to have been chosen at random but I do not believe this is the case. It would be impossible for an artist to make entirely random decision when he already has in mind such a predetermined overriding concept. The objects themselves would suggest some of them were chosen for their realtionship to the subject matter of Marx's text eg a picture of Scrooge Mc Duck, a drawing of the statue of liberty in front of an american flag, a bank note, and one of the artist's bank statements. Each of the capital paintings painstackingly represents each of the objects from "Capital" minus the handwritten text. My main experience of the work was one of partially experiencing the previous artwork "Capital" by proxy.   

During the production of "Capital" Darke became interested in Marx’s “division of commodity and production into two ‘departments’ – production of the means of production and production of the means of consumption”. From this it became clear to him that his own project effectively combined the two, the result appearing as an amalgam of traditional art production and Duchampian readymade. (text in italics quoted from the press release).


Colin Darke, Capital Painting

Launch is an exhibition of work by recent graduates from each of the art colleges in Dublin which I participated in last year. This year Launch has been curated by Sheena Barrett and Lee Welch. The exhibition is very different from last year's which featured nine artists and was intentionally chaotic. This year's show is much less cluttered and features three artists. Seamus Donovan shows drawings and animation. Tracy Hannah intervenes physically into the artificial space of existing films in two video works and Kevin Cosgrove presents a series of small figurative paintings.

The exhibition is acompanied by Projector, a selection recent graduate video work curated by Mark Garry.  Projector suffers from presenting too many video works some of which are far too long. The video that was showing when I went consisted of a single static shot showing the artist carrying out a simple action. The label on the wall informed me this would take 20 minutes - I didn't stay. This, for me, opitimised bad video art. The work shows a lack of understanding of the medium and the experience of the audience. The work has been conceptualised by the artist and has been video used as an objective recording tool not an art medium. If video artists look to cinema and engage with the potential of the medium as well as its conceptual conent they will create more engaging work worthy of the audience's continued attention. The exhibition runs until Jan 20th.

Nick Miller, To Sligo, Chinese & Indian Ink on Paper, 200 x 240 cm, 2007 

At the Rubicon Nick Miller is showing landscape drawings made from his mobile studio in the back of a truck.  Most of the drawings show Sligo's distinctive Benbulben mountain. The drawings are heavily worked and there is almost no white paper visible. The accompanying text tells us that Miller uses a drill with a sanding tool when he needs to erase details. The text also comares the drawing with William Kentridge which came to my mind as well as Doublnald Teskey who also shows with the Rubicon.

The Hugh Lane is currently showing animated work by Julian Opie on O'Connell Street. This follows a show of Barry Flanagan's work. I wonder if they are trying to do something like the Fourth Plinth project. Here is a video of a previous installation of similar work video removed from youtube.