September 6, 2016 - Hugh Lane Gallery - Sven Augustijnen: The Metronome Bursts of Automatic Fire...
September 6, 2016

Hugh Lane Gallery

Installation view of Sven Augustijnen, The Metronome Bursts of Automatic Fire…, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, 2016.

Sven Augustijnen
The Metronome Bursts of Automatic Fire...
...Seep through the Dawn Mist like Muffled Drums and We Know It for What It Is
September 8, 2016–January 22, 2017

Hugh Lane Gallery
Charlemont House
Parnell Square North
Hours: Tuesday–Thursday 9:45am–6pm,
Friday 9:45am–5pm,
Saturday 10am–5pm

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The Metronome Bursts of Automatic Fire… is a new storyboard installation by Belgian artist Sven Augustijnen for The Hugh Lane’s Artist as Witness 2016 exhibition programme. This citation by a journalist in one of the extracted reports from TIME and LIFE magazines is an allusion to the sound of the FAL—a light automatic rifle manufactured in Belgium by Fabrique Nationale de Herstal. During the Cold War this rifle was widely distributed in non-communist countries, and therefore named the "right arm of the free world." However it did not take long for it to appear on both sides of the ideological spectrum in conflicts around the world, as depicted by TIME and LIFE reporters.

The installation of TIME and LIFE magazines, alongside RTÉ TV archive footage of Northern Ireland, evokes how both weapons and journalism have been entangled in the fabric of our history. Through the artist’s selection a metamorphic transformation of information into sculpture is achieved. Augustijnen aligns the magazines chronologically in a linear progression, displaying the pages he has selected according to his own editorial judgement, focusing on his interest in the FAL rifle, causing a collision with the aesthetics of freedom and capitalism embodied in the magazines. The chosen material begins in the late 1950s and progresses to 2016, repeatedly mirroring the events and issues of the past with our contemporary news, until what becomes apparent is the spectacle of war and its production. 

In Sven Augustijnen's work the traditional codes of documentary practice appear both expanded and undermined. He constructs situations of dialogue, debate and commemoration and employs them as vehicles for the critique of our embodied social memory and collective symbolic experience. Journalistic research and historical reviews stand next to the worlds of fiction, ritual and metaphor—they are all inseparable from the forms of living memory and the constructs of our present and future realities. 

Sven Augustijnen lives and works in Brussels. He has had solo shows at Wiels, Centre for Contemporary Art, Brussels; de Appel arts centre, Amsterdam; Malmö Konsthall; Vox, Centre de l'image contemporaine, Montréal; CCS Bard, Annandale-on-Hudson. Upcoming group shows include The Unfinished Conversation: Encoding/Decoding, Museu Coleção Berardo, Lisbon and Gestures and archives of the present, genealogies of the future, Taipei Biennale.

The exhibition will be accompanied by an illustrated publication with essays by Mihnea Mircan and Colin Graham.


Spectres screening at the IFI
September 6, 6:15–8:30pm
With a discussion with the artist following the screening. Book here
Irish Film Institute, 6 Eustace Street, Temple Bar 

Artist's talk: Sven Augustijnen in conversation with Michael Dempsey
September 7, 5:30–6:30pm
Augustijnen discusses his new exhibition before the opening reception at 6:30pm. Free. 

Public lecture: Action Man and the Troubles
October 6, 5:30–6:30pm
Talk by Colin Graham, Maynooth University. Free. 

Public lecture: From the Thompson Machine Gun to the FN-FAL
November 10, 5:30–6:30pm
Talk by Lar Joye, Curator, National Museum of Ireland. Free. 

Hugh Lane Gallery
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The Metronome Bursts of Automatic Fire...
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