Lismore Castle Arts announces Monuments exhibition

Lismore Castle Arts presents Monuments an exhibition on view 20 April–30 September 2013.

Monuments at Lismore Castle Arts features five artists whose work addresses the role that monuments and memorials play in our society. The exhibition includes sculpture, works on paper, video and performance, with notable pieces that include large fragments of a reconstruction of the Statue of Liberty by Danh Vo, and a giant piece of ‘paper architecture’ created especially for the castle’s garden by Pablo Bronstein.

Danh Vo, We The People (detail), 2011-13. Copper, variable dimensions. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris

Danh Vo, We The People (detail), 2011-13. Copper, variable dimensions. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris

Lismore Castle is a site rich in monuments, and one reference point for the exhibition is the role of stately homes and gardens in memorialising their creators. The role of vanity and propaganda in generating monuments can make them an easy target for satire, but the artists in this exhibition also suggest ways in which the monumental tradition might be co-opted, brought up to date or used to express new collective identities.

The works of Pablo Bronstein (b. 1977, Buenos Aires; lives in London) contain a satirical commentary on the history of Western architecture, with a special focus on the architecture of power. Bronstein is represented in the exhibition by the aforementioned installation in the garden, and by a set of computer-rendered drawings of fantastical corporate buildings.

Iman Issa (b. 1979, Cairo; lives in Cairo and New York) is showing three works from her Material series. These take the form of models, with titles such as Material for a sculpture proposed as an alternative to a monument that has become an embarrassment to its people (2010). Issa’s constructions may be absurdist—the aforementioned work consists of two light bulbs that fade in and out—but they also demonstrate a desire to create monuments that are adequate to real experience.

Aleksandra Mir (b. 1967, Lubin, Poland; lives in London) is represented in part by The Seduction of Galileo Galilei (2011), a video depicting a group of people attempting to build a giant tower from tyres—only to see it fall again and again. The artist is also showing a set of digital collages which depict proposals for a work involving a giant inflatable aircraft. Mir’s practice explores human aspiration and folly, and is marked by a gentle satire from which the artist herself is not excluded.

The performances of Yorgos Sapountzis (b. 1976, Athens; lives in Berlin) frequently involve groups of people in actions that resemble parades or demonstrations, and often result in improvised structures that are akin to temporary monuments. At Lismore the artist is making a new performance for the opening night of the exhibition, a performance—involving the simple materials that are a feature of his work—that will leave a residue behind in the galleries.

Danh Vo (b. 1975, Vietnam; lives in Berlin) is showing We The People (2011-13). This hugely ambitious work involves a life-size recreation, in beaten copper, of the surface of the Statue of Liberty. Pieces of the replica are continually being shown and circulated around the world, its image fractured and displaced into many different contexts. Vo’s complex work examines the changing nature of this most famous monument—and all that it represents—in the era of globalisation.

The exhibition has been curated by Mark Sladen. A catalogue, co-published with Mousse Publishing, will be available from June 2013.

Lismore Castle Arts
Co. Waterford
T +353 (0)58 54061
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