November 8, 2018 - Talbot Rice Gallery - Tremble Tremble / At the Gates
November 8, 2018

Talbot Rice Gallery

Installation view of Tremble Tremble / At the Gates. Courtesy Talbot Rice Gallery. 

Tremble Tremble / At the Gates
October 27, 2018–January 26, 2019

Talbot Rice Gallery
The University of Edinburgh
EH8 9YL Edinburgh
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Inspired by the tidal wave of change that has been sweeping the world Tremble Tremble and At the Gates are exhibitions celebrating the distinctive and powerful voices of artists engaging with social histories and personal politics. Often brushing up against the law, or institutions of power, the works in these exhibitions have amplified the global struggle towards female self-empowerment, and in the case of Ireland’s historic fight against the Eighth Amendment, the right to bodily self-determination.

Jesse Jones’ Tremble Tremble speaks to the struggle against the oppression of women across the ages, and particularly in relation to the law. Originally created to represent Ireland at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017, it was conceived in the context of Ireland’s then-growing momentum to attempt once again to repeal the Eighth Amendment, and effectively legalise abortion. The artwork takes a woman’s body as the primary ground of her exploitation and resistance to capitalism and the state, and creates a new law to supersede man-made laws, the law of In Utera Gigantae. Tremble Tremble has been re-designed and expanded for the Georgian Gallery and is performed each day throughout the Gallery’s opening hours, looping after 30 minutes.

At the Gates presents seven international artists and collectives who rub up against the law or institutions of power, in artworks that tell stories of violence, campaigning, rehabilitation and exploitation in and around women’s histories. Drawing strength from Tremble Tremble, the exhibition is motivated by the complex struggle of women to find, protect, and even rehabilitate their voice. These artists and their individual projects attest to the volume of these voices, images, banners, objects and artworks as they amass and become part of a public discussion. All of the artists, Maja Bajevic, Georgia Horgan, Navine G. Khan-Dossos, Teresa Margolles, Olivia Plender, Suzanne Treister, Artists’ Campaign to Repeal the Eighth Amendment  as well as Jesse Jones' Tremble Tremble can be read about in the downloadable Exhibition Guide.

The title, At the Gates, is partly inspired by Franz Kafka’s parable Before the Law, included at the back of the exhibition guide. This is a story about a man who spends his life standing at the gates of the law awaiting permission to enter. The title also borrows from American suffragist Lavinia Dock who said in 1917: "The old stiff minds must give way. The old selfish minds must go. Obstructive reactionaries must move on. The young are at the gates!"

These exhibitions celebrate artists who are not waiting for permission, to quote Ailbhe Smyth (co-chair of Together for YES, Ireland’s official abortion rights campaign) speaking at the opening of Tremble Tremble in Dublin, one week after the referndum was won, "It is about understanding that you first have to disturb, you first have to disrupt, there first has to be an upheaval… Where flesh becomes stone, and stone becomes flesh… you knew, in witch-like fashion, exactly what we needed to do and to hear and to see and to fear."

In the context of these two exhibitions Silvia Federici will present a public lecture in Edinburgh on the 23rd November in partnership with Collective. Talbot Rice Gallery, as the Gallery of the University of Edinburgh, is also thrilled to announce that Silvia Federici will be awarded an honorary degree from the University of Edinburgh in 2019. Something of a spirit-guide for these exhibitions, Federici’s writing is very much part of both Tremble Tremble and At the Gates.

Curated by Tessa Giblin, Director of Talbot Rice Gallery, and Commissioner & Curator of Ireland at Venice, 2017.

#trembletremble #TalbotRice 

Both exhibitions are supported by Edinburgh College of Art, the University of Edinburgh and Creative Scotland. The presentation of Tremble Tremble in Edinburgh has been further supported by Culture Ireland as part of GB18: Promoting Irish Arts in Britain.

Talbot Rice Gallery
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