Neither Here Nor There | Contemporary Irish 2013

Curated by Jane Hughes and Enda O’Donoghue.

Grimmuseum, Berlin
Opening: Friday 12th April 2013 at 7pm
Exhibition runs from 13th April to 5th May 2013

Artists: Mark Curran, Benjamin de Burca, Maurice Doherty, David Hedderman, Jane Hughes, Sophie Iremonger, Eoin Llewllyn, LiFeLooP (aka Séamus O’Donnell), Enda O’Donoghue and David O’Kane.

This exhibition title ‘NEITHER HERE NOR THERE’ suggests a world of ‘in-betweens’. Each of the 10 artists selected for this show in their own way, go beyond a binary form of understanding, addressing issues of history, tradition, uncertain spaces, meaning and intimacy. Binary models infuse our thinking at every level in society, as life is constantly split into various dichotomies of rich/poor, traditional/contemporary, animal/human, and so on ad infinitum. This method of categorisation seems to be the very foundation of an eschewed world view that produces an entire wasteland of disregarded in-betweens. The artists selected for this exhibition challenge these polarities in new and subtle ways.

David Hedderman’s portraits drawn from life capture the intangible human experience of a shared moment between two people, focusing particularly on male identity, there is a curious position between vulnerability and strength. In contrast the painting of Sophie Iremongers work reflects a constant attempt to shape a reality to her own needs in the face of a predominant hegemony that excludes her as an outsider, creating an ultra glossy modern cave painting of sorts, fusing the artificial flavor of mass-media with animal idolatry and an underlying neon violence.

The work of Eoin Llewellyn is heavily influenced by the history of painting, combining old techniques with images from 1900s to the present day, creating paintings which evocatively linger between past and present. In LifeLoop’s work there is also a regard for history in terms of analogue technology. In the installation ‘Infinite Loop Surveillance’, a direct audio experience of presence is created using two tape loops running on four old reel-to-reel tape machines. Two machines are constantly recording the ambient sound of the space, the other two devices simultaneously play back that recording, delayed, echoed, and then re-recorded. This work is a play on the hypothesis that the tape recordings of spaces may sometimes contain messages from the beyond, known as “Electronic Voice Phenomenon” or “Tonbandstimmen”.

The video piece ‘Stuck in the Avant Garde’ by Maurice Doherty, is a humorous snippet of the artist being stuck in the toilet for 3 hours at an exhibition opening. The footage shows the gallerist and three other people working on the lock to try and release the artist.
‘Edificio Recife’, by de Burca /Wagner, is an extensive work of photographs and texts revealing a fundamental friction between art appreciation and taste as a guide to understanding class relations in contemporary Brazil. Images of sculptures at the facade of new apartment blocks (Edificios) in the city of Recife are coupled with the opinions of the doormen (Porteiros) on the artworks they co-habit this space with. Similarly Mark Curran’s work Liquid modern I has a political edge. While incorporating the words of Homer, the aged poet, from Wim Wenders’Der Himmel über Berlin (Wings of Desire, 1987), as he searches for Potsdamer Platz in then No Man’s Land, the project is inspired by Zygmunt Bauman’s notion ofLiquid Modernity addressing neoliberal capitalism.

Enda O’Donoghue’s brightly coloured images are the by-product of his meticulously planned large scale paintings functioning themselves as an intriguing work about process - a state between completion and idea, control and chance, analogue and digital.
Jane Hughes’s large scale drawings invite you to physically stand between a moment of tension and aggression, an uncertain space of attack between the simultaneously tame and wild. While the highly labour intensive work of David O’Kane oscillates back and forth from animation to painting using images that are deployed in a manner similar to scientific thought experiments, probing for a reaction from the artist and the viewer with the heavy tangibility of time and space as a major theme.

The exhibition includes weekly events, including a live performance of ‘Silences 8 (Echoes)’ by Tom O’Doherty and Kata Kovács on 5th May at the Embassy of Ireland in Berlin. There will be a reading by Alan Cunningham from his debut novella, Count from Zero to One Hundred, published by Penned in the Margins (London) on 19th April. There will also be two curators talks by Jane Hughes and Enda O’Donoghue on the 14th April and 21st April

Ireland holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union during the first six months of 2013, this is an opportune occasion to highlight the work of these 10 contemporary Irish artists who have migrated to the city of Berlin over the last 20 years.

This exhibition will tour to Ireland to be exhibited at the Galway Arts Centre in December 2013.

Kindly supported by the Embassy of Ireland, Berlin and Culture Ireland as part of the EU presidency fund.



Fichtestrasse 2
10967 Berlin
Opening hours: Wed - Sun 2pm - 7pm