A Nation Under the Influence: Ireland at 100

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CCI presents a new exhibition of work by six artists that explores key influences already at play in 1922 when Ireland became a Free State, together with the legacy of those that were put in train by its new government. Curated by Rosetta Beaugendre and Nora Hickey M'Sichili of the CCI, this is an honest spotlight on the maturing of a nation, in the vein of the candid portrait of Dublin painted by Joyce’s Ulysses.

In February 1922, on his 40th birthday, James Joyce finally managed to publish his masterpiece Ulysses in Paris, not Dublin, where its ‘obscene’ and ‘anti-Irish’ content was considered too risky! Set eighteen years earlier, on 16 June 1904, this exhilarating roman-fleuve decries what Joyce saw as Irish society’s conservatism, piety, and blinkered nationalism. 1922 is also most importantly the year Ireland finally gained independence in the shape of a Free State. It came however at the cost of partition – six counties of the island remained within the United Kingdom – followed by civil war. Moreover, the new nation that emerged did not put in train the liberal and egalitarian society for which some had fought for; indeed, it can be said that Joyce’s criticisms continued to hold true for a considerable time to come… 

This exhibition presents six artists whose work references specific influences - religious, socio-cultural, and political - that Ireland is still dealing with a hundred years after independence and Joyce’s pertinent critique. It has at its centre a first edition of Ulysses graciously lent to the CCI by the Princess Grace Irish Library in Monaco - under the aegis of the Fondation Princesse Grace

Period3 Feb 2022

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