OPEN / INVITED
Too Early For Vacation
CURATOR: HOU HANRU
March 7 – May 25, 2008
City-wide venues in Limerick City, Ireland
OPEN / INVITED e v + a 2008, Ireland’s pre-eminent annual exhibition of contemporary art, opens to the public on March 7th in Limerick City. Selected by Hou Hanru the exhibition will present the work of 45 artists (28 OPEN and 17 INVITED) drawn from 17 countries of Continental Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas.
Too Early For Vacation A short introduction by Hou Hanru
Conventionally, Ireland has been seen as an exotic, idyllic and even somehow a spiritual destination for a 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 their integration into the 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. Yet as an event it has remained persistently rooted in the local context, at once modest, intimate, ambitious and generous as it constantly negotiates global influences including the new ideas, projects and energies that have been brought in by artists and curators from different parts of the world.
The fundamental change in the nature of contemporary art from quasi-underground, activist and avant-garde activities in the 1970s when e v+ a was founded to becoming 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 still make sense in the age of globalisation, dominated by certain established but limited models of production, representation and consumption, and yet continue, as well, to engage itself in the transformation of local reality?
In this context, coming to work for, visit and appreciate e v+ a today needs an 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 contacts with various forms of creation. However, it’s by no means merely a simple vacation to be spent in this beautiful town of Ireland – a vacation has 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 the issues that occupy the centre of this kind of local-based intervention.
Welcome to Limerick. But, it’s too early for vacation… or – it’ll never be a vacation.
INVITED e v+ a 2008 – Artists
Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla (USA/Cuba)
Chen Shaoxiong, Gimhongsok, Tsuyoshi Ozawa (China, Korea, Japan)
Chen Wenbo (China)
Allan de Souza (Kenya/UK/USA)
Latifa Echakhch (Morocco/FR)
Malaki Farrell (IRL/FR)
Seamus Farrell (IRL/FR)
Ni Haifeng (China/Netherlands)
Yang Jiechang (China/FR)
Ian Kiaer (UK)
Adrian Paci (Albania/Italy)
Taro Shinoda (Japan)
Shahzia Sikander (Pakistan/USA/Germany)
Hague Yang (Korea/Germany)
OPEN e v+ a 2008 – Artists
Alan Bulfin (IRL)
Mark Clare (IRL)
Martina Cleary (IRL)
Common Culture (UK) – Ian Brown, David Campbell, Mark Durden
Angela Darby & Robert Peters (NI)
Aideen Doran (NI)
James Gormley (IRL)
Ailbhe Greaney (IRL)
Fiona Hackett (IRL)
Henna-Rikka Halonen (Finland/UK)
James Hayes (IRL)
Catherine Hearne (IRL)
Nina Höchtl (Austria)
Emma Houlihan (IRL)
Sarah Hurl (IRL)
Ruth Le Gear (IRL)
Terry Markey (IRL)
Tricia McCarthy & Vertigo Smyth (IRL)
Mairéad McClean (UK)
Maeve McElligott (IRL)
Dara McGrath (IRL)
David O’Kane (IRL)
John Reardon (UK)
About the Curator
Hou Hanru, is a Paris – San Francisco based critic and curator. Director of Exhibitions and Public Programs and Chair of Exhibition Studies and Museology at San Francisco Art Institute.. Born in 1963 in China and moved to Paris in 1990s, he is an Advisor (professor) at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Visiting Professor at HISK, Hoger Instituut voor Shone Kunsten, Antwerp, Beligium, Member of Advisory Committee of De Appel Foundation, Amsterdam, French correspondent of “Flash Art International”. He was also a member of Global Advisory Committee of Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis
The e v + a story
A group of Limerick artists began e v + a in 1977 as a way of bringing their work as contemporary artists into mutual close encounters with audiences so that, together, sense and meaning could be made in and of the world all shared. More than three decades on e v + a is still an artist centered exhibition and has become the Republic of Ireland’s premier annual exhibition of contemporary art. Previous e v + a curators include Klaus Ottmann (2007), Katerina Gregos (2006), Dan Cameron (2005), Zdenka Badovinac (2004), Virginia Perez-Ratton (2003), Apinan Poshyananda (2003), Salah M. Hassan (2001), and Rosa Martinez (2000).
e v + a 2007 – Sponsors & Patrons
The Arts Council, Limerick City Council, Limerick City Gallery of Art, Sisk, Fáilte Ireland, The Belltable Arts Centre, The Hunt Museum, The Bourn Vincent Gallery, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Philips Ireland, Clancy Co. Ltd.