Sheena Carrington reviews the second of a three part exhibition by Prem Sahib titled 'Descent', a project with an overarching narrative that explores socio-political architectures and acts of resistance.
The vast scale of work on show is what grips you first when entering ‘PROTEST!’, the Derek Jarman retrospective at Dublin’s Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA). It spans the entirety of IMMA’s West Wing, comprising 11 rooms, a number of alcoves and two long, connecting corridors. The show displays works from the four decades of Jarman’s career, beginning in the late-50s, as he entered King’s College London, through to the ‘90s and his untimely death in 1994 from an AIDS-related illness aged just 52. Review by Aidan Kelly Murphy
The dramatic arrangement of works suggests the organic and vegetal profusion of a complex living system such as a rainforest. This is a deliberate echo of the rainforests which surround Vivian Suter’s lakeside studio in Guatemala – a place that plays a fundamental role in the making and meaning of the artist’s work, and which leaves its physical traces on her paintings. Review by Anna Souter
Lili Dujourie’s exhibition at Kohta briefly touches on three different decades of the Belgian artist’s career. Given the works generally subdued character and their limited number, they are remarkably cogent and confirm Dujourie’s intellectual restlessness. The selection here draws attention to Dujourie’s resolve to experiment and keep experimenting with different media and intellectual approaches. At Kohta, the proof of this encompasses a sculptural installation, a black and white video and a group of small paper-based sculptures. Review by John Gayer
The artists in ‘Parade’ are woven together with common threads of narrative and socially engaged themes. In vivid colours and an assortment of textures, the exhibition boasts multi-sensory appeal. Review by Sara Makari-Aghdam
The beautiful vistas of rivers conjure a fantasy of a communal globalised world. As we watch the swirling river waters, the narration recalls that the Mekong became a dividing line of partition, as family members risked their lives to cross the river to escape to Thailand from the communist regime change of 1975. Piers Masterson reviews the Singapore Biennale, reflecting on highlights from this large, multi-sited and politically charged display.
Inspired by her recent trip to the North Korean border, Warsaw-based artist Alicja Gaskon presents ‘Dividing Lines’: a physical and conceptual representation of the most prominent boundaries through history. From North Korea to the Berlin Wall, and more recently, Trump’s wall, Gaskon’s inquiry accentuates the absence of ethical consideration within the rationale of national preservation. Review by Elaine Y.J Zheng
Blue is the first thing that greets you at Temple Bar Gallery + Studios. An inviting blue covers the gallery’s exterior windows, providing privacy to those inside. Beyond the blue, as it does on the visible spectrum of light, lies violet. This warm shade of lavender wraps itself around the internal walls and dominates the gallery floor via a large and continuous sculpture in the same hue. Beyond violet on the visible spectrum lies ultraviolet, the invisible, the mystical. In Tai Shani’s ‘Tragodía’ this movement through colour is represented by a virtual reality play which requires special eyewear to view. Review by Aidan Kelly Murphy
‘– door open –’ (2014-2019) is a new video artwork of a long standing and ongoing dialogue between two artists, one in Damascus, the other based in England. Toward the end of the twenty-five minute video the English voice-over talks through the technical difficulties the artists encountered over the course of the project. For the safety of the Syrian artist their communications were carried through the ether “by proxy”. Review by Betsy Porritt
How many times can the world end? If the current abundance of post-apocalyptic fiction is anything to go by, too many times. Coming out of this crowded field of contemporary art and popular culture is David Blandy’s exhibition ‘The World After’ at Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on-Sea. The show takes as its subject Canvey Wick on Canvey Island, Essex, the site of a partially built oil refinery that was abandoned after the oil crisis in 1973. A case study in regeneration, the Wick is now a 93.2 hectare nature reserve, and one of the most important areas in Britain for endangered invertebrates. For over a year, Blandy has worked with local gaming communities in Southend to write a fictional future for this site, resulting in a film, an installation and a Dungeons and Dragons-esque role-playing game. Review by Kirsty White
I must treat everything as a given. As such, it seems necessary to accept that Marianna Simnett’s exhibition at the Frans Hals Museum feels like two distinct shows packaged into one on purpose. In taking this rupture seriously, the question would then be, why? What does the two-in-one form do here? With the first body comprised of two works from 2016 and the second of four from 2019, a separation along the lines of the chronological is a start. Review by Isabelle Sully
I’ve never seen Lynda Benglis’s work look more relevant than scattered around an opulent Neo-Classical mansion in the shadow of the Acropolis. The Stathatos Mansion is a slave to taste and style, determinedly emulating the great villas of the past, and Benglis’s sculpture is its total opposite. It’s bold, it’s bombastic, even vulgar at times, and unlike Neo-Classicism, never conventional, not even for a second. Review by William Summerfield
‘Incursions, Departures’ presents two audio essays by Justin Barton and the late Mark Fisher. Fisher remains one of our most influential thinkers; surprisingly, this event marks the first opportunity to listen to these works together. Review by William Rees
David Zwirner recently featured ‘The Anchor Hits the Sand’, a solo exhibition by Swedish artist Jockum Nordström. Upon entrance, visitors encounter a collection of Nordström’s watercolour collages. The motifs that comprise the works illustrate Nordström’s imaginative spirit and oeuvre. Each composition is peculiar and ambiguous, characterised by various scenes, with figures who seemingly have no apparent relation to one another. Review by Sheena Carrington