OPEN / INVITED e v+ a 2008 - Too Early for Vacation

David Campbell, Mark Durden, Ian Brown

    Research output: Non-textual formExhibition


    Common Culture's Comic Battle. 3 screen video projection.In a Brighton pub, three British comedians were hired to tell jokes in response to topics suggested by Common Culture and each was simultaneously filmed as they battled for attention. Our interest in British comedians focuses on the raw competition between them, their performative skill and their ability to construct particular cultural identities through the articulation of global and local issues.Too Early for Vacation, A short introduction to the project of e v+ a 2008, Limerick, Ireland, March - May 2008 by Hou Hanru Conventionally, Ireland has been seen as an exotic, idyllic and even somehow spiritual destination for vacation… Limerick, a “remote” city situated in the Mid-West of the country, is certainly one of the most desired places on the tourist map. For the last decade, this city and the surrounding region, like the whole country itself, have entered a process of renaissance, thanks to their embracing of new technologies and integration in global economy. But, few have imagined that this rather small city can be a vibrant site of production of contemporary art. However, for the last three decades, Limerick has been holding the most significant contemporary art event in Ireland. Over the years, e v+ a has become a major and unique international exhibition. Remaining relatively modest, the event has persistently been rooted in the local context. The artists involved, coming from Ireland and all around the world by invitation or by selection via public calls for applications, are encouraged to create and present their works in context-specific manners in order to integrate their imaginations and creativities with the real life of the locality. Specific sites have been selected to host the presentation of the works. The sites are not only “backdrops” for the works but integrated physical conditions for their formations and significations. In the process of the formations and significations, the local populations are often called in to provide their parts of contributions… e v+ a is an extraordinary event at once modest, intimate, ambitious, and generous. Ultimately, it’s systematically engaged with the local reality that is continuously evolving and reinvented in its negotiation with global influences, including new ideas, projects and energies brought in by artists from different parts of the world. Interestingly, one can observe that contemporary art has become much more popular, presented in numerous cultural institutions, market places and mass media, and increasingly turned into a part of the mainstream entertainment system and tourist industry. This fundamental change of the nature of contemporary art from quasi-underground, activist and avant-garde activities in the 1970s when e v+ a was founded to a part of the late-capitalist and consumerist cultural establishment has actually launched an intellectual, ethic and even political challenge to the art world itself. Then, what’s the real social significance of contemporary art today? How can a firmly grass-rooted event like e v+ a can still make sense in the age of globalisation, dominated by certain established but limited models of production, representation and consumption, and continue to engage itself in the transformation of local reality? In this context, coming to work for and appreciate e v+ a today needs even more intimate and active engagement with the local reality, both physical and cultural, both personal and social… certainly it involves travels from different parts of the world and introductions of various forms of creation. However, it’s by no means a simple vacation to be spent in this beautiful town of Ireland – vacation in a double implication: holidays and vacating (escaping) from reality. Instead, it must be actions of engagement… Pressing issues related to the transformation of today’s globe such as border crossing, migration, travel, exchange with the other, cultural and geopolitical confrontation and dialogue, etc. are obviously occupying the centre of this kind of local-based interventions. Welcome to Limerick. But, it’s too early for vacation… or it’ll never be a vacation.CuratorHou Hanru (China/France/USA)Participating ArtistsSelected Artists: Alan Bulfin (Ireland); Mark Clare (Ireland); Martina Cleary (Ireland); Common Culture (Ian Brown, David Campbell, Mark Durden)(UK); Angela Darby & Robert Peters (Northern Ireland); Aideen Doran (Northern Ireland); James Gormley (Ireland); Ailbhe Greaney (Ireland); Fiona Hackett (Ireland); Henna-Riikka Halonen (Finland / UK); James Hayes (Ireland); Catherina Hearne (Ireland); Nina Höchtl (Austria); Emma Houlihan (Ireland); Sarah Hurl (Ireland); Ruth LeGear (Ireland); Terry Markey (Ireland); Tricia McCarthy & Vertigo Smyth (Ireland); Mairéad McClean (UK); Maeve McElligott (Ireland); Dara McGrath (Ireland); David O'Kane (Ireland); John Reardon (UK)Invited Artists: Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla (USA / Cuba); Chen Shaoxiong & Gimhongsok & Ozawa Tsuyoshi (China, Korea, Japan); Chen Wenbo (China); Allan de Souza (Kenya /UK / USA); Latifa Echakhch (Morocco / France); Malachi Farrell (Ireland / France); Seamus Farrell (Ireland / France); Ian Kiaer (UK); Ni Haifeng (China / Netherlands); Ozawa Tsuyoshi (Japan); Adrian Paci (Albania / Italy); Taro Shinoda (Japan); Shahzia Sikander (Pakistan / USA / Germany); Haegue Yang (Korea / Germany); Yang Jiechang (China / France)
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2008
    Evente v+ a 2008 Too Early for Vacation - Exhibition of work by 44 artists in venues and locations throughout Limerick city
    Duration: 1 Jan 2008 → …

    Bibliographical note

    Reference text: Irish Examiner: review of exhibition

    CIRCA: review of exhibition
    Limerick Post, 20 March: review of OPEN e v+ a awards - artists
    Irish Times, 19 March: review of exhibition by Aidan Dunne, Art Critic
    RTE Lyric FM - Artzone, 14 March: review of exhibition
    Irish Times - The Ticket, 14 March: listing
    Limerick Post, 13 March: overview and interview by Rose Rushe
    RTE Radio 1 - The Arts Show, 10 March: review of exhibition and interview with curator
    Limerick Event Guide (LEG), March 08: cover story and editorial
    Limerick Leader, 8 March: Feature - Anne Sheridan in coversation with some of the participating artists
    Limerick Post, 6 March: 2-page insertion by artist Maeve McElligott as part of e v+ a 2008

    e-flux, February 2008: announcement, details
    Outputmediatype: DVD installation-'Common Culture's 'Comic Battle'


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