JOÃO PENALVA, colectiva 'What happens next is a secret' no Irish Museum of Modern Art (Dublin)
26 January - 18 April 2010
This is an experimental exhibition which attempts to addresses the question of what happens when artworks become part of a collection, and are subsequently shown in many different contexts. Works will be changed regularly during the course of the exhibition, with removals generating absences which call to mind gaps in our memory and point to the partially hidden nature of Museum collections. Likewise works will be added or re-positioned generating new relationships between works, and new narratives within the exhibition. Works from the IMMA Collection employing secrecy or invisibility as a device will be shown, but a list of these works will not be disclosed in advance.
Artists on IMMA's Artists' Residency Programme (ARP) will be invited to engage with the exhibition in a variety of ways, such as exploring methods of presentation or, perhaps, intervening in the exhibition by creating temporary works of their own. This last element will only be revealed as the exhibition unfolds over time.
While the exhibition will use mainly works from the IMMA Collection, a small number of works will be borrowed; Lawrence Weiner's, statement 021, from 1968 will be on loan to IMMA from the collection of Seth Siegelaub. The work exists as an idea, a statement which calls for the removal of part of the gallery wall - this idea is held in a private collection; noting is transported, nothing insured, nothing stored. Siegelaub was one of the first collectors or curators to collect and show conceptual practices and was arguably one of the most influential independent curators active during the 1960's - 70's; a period when fundamental questions about the role of institutions, the artist, the public, and of art itself were being addressed.
Also on loan for the exhibition is, The Museum Minus the Collection, a work that was made by the artists Frantiska + Tim Gilman while they were on IMMA's ARP in 2005. It is a IMMA Collection Catalogue cut so that images of the artworks have been removed from the pages creating an intricate lattice effect. The artists have written that "the holes in our memory define our minds, as windows help define a structure". The negative spaces created by the absent, removed works create a new structure within the book - each removal acting like a window framing further absences. The negative spaces containing in turn another negative: an inverted mise en abyme; an absence, within an absence, within an absence.
Donald Urquhart's outdoor work, Recurring Line, is a work from the IMMA Collection which is absent from view for most of the year. It is a site specific work located in the Meadow of the Royal Hospital site; a drawing in the landscape made using Galanthus Nivalis (snowdrops). Urquhart will also be making a temporary wall drawing relating to Recurring Line during the course of the exhibition. This new work, In absentia, will be made by the artist while the gallery is open to visitor.
To coincide with the exhibition, IMMA has commissioned a new sound piece by economicthoughprojects, an independent record label set up by Irish-based artist Russell Hart to investigate collaborative and multi-disciplinary practice. Hart will be working with Irish artist Karl Burke to produce a new work in response to the exhibition. A limited edition vinyl recording will be available and the artists will also make a live performance during the exhibition.
Continuing IMMA's well established Limited Edition series, Ilya + Emilia Kabakov will produce a limited edition print titled, The Ghosts in the Morning, in response to the themes of secrecy and invisibility addressed in this exhibition.
'What happens next is a secret', Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin