Gallery Catch-up – February

From brown papered..everything at Project with the work of Eva Koťátková and Dominik Lang, to Priscila Fernandes at TBG&S, to a phantasmagoria of weird at The Lab: Dublin has a wide array of exhibition choices this month. The stand out exhibitions here are however from emerging artists and curators: both The Lab and Flood showcase exciting new work. Wonderful paintings by the talented Genevieve Figgis at Flood add weight to “The Carny”, and strong video work at The Lab make the North side of town quite difficult to leave. “Tonight you can call me Trish” presented by curating duo RGKSKSRG for the Emerging Curator Award at The Lab, creates a arrangement of works wherein each piece appears to curate the other. Excellent video works by Oliver Laric and in particular, the dream-like evocation of a new Oz in the work of Rachel Maclean, are well worth a close look. Each video work is sequestered in arrangements by Ellis McDonald and Mark Durkan; these “settings” seem to impose one artist’s aesthetic onto the other. To use the curator’s metaphor, this is indeed a one-night stand, albeit one overseen by a rather demanding pimp.

In Kerlin artist Willie Doherty presents his 2013 film work “Remains”. Doherty is, I always feel, at his best in film, however one wonders is he now persona non grata in Northern fire brigade stations such is his proclivity for burning cars. Exquisitely cinematic and subtly observational, Doherty, through the use of a base non-emotive (almost digitised) voice-over, goes someway – but not exclusively, toward an unbiased view. Doherty could easily have been a painter such is his intimate knowledge of landscape and subtlety of palette. His landscapes focus the viewpoint on the desolation of the space rather than the emotion of the words – or in this case the forced lack thereof. It is what remains that is of interest to Doherty now, the tension that exists and the continued questioning that surrounds much of what went on during the “Troubles”. The dramatic lucidity and setting of certain scenes within the film work show just how remarkably restrained Doherty is being the rest of the time.

Andrea Büttner meanwhile presents a decorous exhibition at Douglas Hyde, her delicate glass paintings featuring appropriated icons draw the viewer in and yet the manifold use of colour-block works obfuscates any sort of intimacy. The use of angles within paintings and then in the space itself (in the form of a painted alcove), adds situationality to the work-space dynamic. The setting of sticks and stones reverentially laid out on a table to one-side allows the viewer space to absorb the artist’s intention – in case we missed it.

Images: Rachel Maclean, still from “Over the rainbow” (2013), The Lab; Willie Doherty “Remains” (2013), Kerlin Gallery.

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