August 25, 2008 - Limerick City Gallery of Art - Simon Starling and Michael McLoughlin
August 25, 2008

Simon Starling and Michael McLoughlin

Concrete Light

I only come here ‘cos it’s free

September 12th – November 16th 2008

Carnegie Building, Pery Square,
Limerick, Ireland.


Limerick City Gallery of Art is delighted to host a major solo exhibition by Turner Prize winner Simon Starling. This survey exhibition, which is Starling’s first major exhibition in Ireland, will present previously existing works exhibited with a newly commissioned site-specific work, Concrete Light. The work references the stone wall tradition particular to the West of Ireland and involves a dry stone wall being constructed in the gallery space, in which specially replicated stones allow the wall to mirror itself.

Readymade for Kunsthalle Bern, 1997, forms a centre piece of the exhibition, in which two aluminium objects, a ‘Marin Sausalito’ bicycle and a Charles Eames ‘Aluminium Group’ chair, were reconstructed using the metal from the other. The result is two handcrafted, degraded, mutations of their former manufactured selves, scarred from their form transfer and separated by a sheet of glass which holds a text explanation of the work. The work inverts the notion of the ready made in a simple but labour-intensive act of transmutation. Readymade for Kunsthalle Bern, holds for Starling particular association to Ireland, in the form of reference to Flann O’Brien’s novel ‘The Third Policeman’.

Starling’s innovative research process involves absorbing the histories, environment and social nuances of a locale. He breaks down specific histories which he re-uses and reconstructs, through his evolving transformation of objects. Starling’s work playfully explores the intimate relationships between craft, material and technique. His investigations reveal a fascination with process. Starling’s reflections on modern manufacturing and traditional crafts show countless nuanced contradictions in the production of a single object. His work explores part utopian vision and part critical. Starling is fascinated by the processes involved in transforming one object or substance into another. He makes objects, installations and pilgrimage-like journeys which draw out an array of ideas about nature, technology and economics. Starling describes his work as ‘the physical manifestation of a thought process’, revealing hidden histories and relationships.

Born in 1967 in Epsom, England, Simon Starling graduated from the Glasgow School of Art. He won the Turner Prize in 2005 and was short-listed for the Hugo Boss Prize in 2004. He lives in Copenhagen and is Professor of Fine Arts at the Staedelschule in Frankfurt. Starling has exhibited widely including the Bienal de Sao Paulo and the Busan Biennale in 2004. Recent exhibitions include Cuttings at The Power Plant, Toronto and Three Birds, Seven Stories, Interpolations and Bifurcations at Ludwig Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest.

Works courtesy of FRAC Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain, Montpellier and The Modern Institute Glasgow

MICHAEL McLOUGHLIN I only come here ‘cos it’s free

Limerick City Gallery of Art is delighted to host a major solo exhibition by socially engaged, Dublin based artist Michael McLoughlin. This is McLoughlin’s first museum exhibition and will present bodies of new work. McLoughlin’s process involves connecting with specific groups in society and developing work in audio, film, drawing, photography and sculptural installations, which explores their collective histories and social environments.

Efforts to track and record travel, migration and movement are of particular interest to the artist. McLoughlin focuses on memories, histories, dreams and aspirations, while commenting accurately on social circumstance by working together with communities. McLoughlin is, “interested in the stories of this space that may seem almost trivial to others.” The role played by social clubs in preventing isolating, particularly for older people in the community, is specifically interesting to McLoughlin. Social outlets are particularly important for older people who may have less contact with a broad family network and these groupings can almost take on the role of surrogate family.

A new body of work focuses on an aging community, exploring Bingo as their primary activity of social engagement. Documentation from artist organised bingo events, together with a series of installations study the various aspects of the activities and how individuals respond to them, while McLoughlin’s curious field recordings form a link between the two strands of the exhibition.

The centre piece of the exhibition is a new film-work I Don’t See The Lads That Much Anymore, developed in collaboration with critically acclaimed actor and comedian Jon Kenny and writer Michael Finn. The film re-visits a previous character, a London based Irish emigrant, exploring displacement through an individual’s struggle but also the multitude of changes experienced in Irish culture in the past 20 years.

Michael McLoughlin (b. 1972) graduated from Limerick School of Art and Design and is based in Dublin. McLoughlin has a socially engaged practice and has made site-specific artworks in association with many groups, including Limerick Traveler Groups, Our Lady of Lourdes Community Development Young Women’s Group in 2003, Balcurris Boys Home 2004, St. Margaret’s Travelers Group and the wider community in Ballymun 2006/2007. Michael McLoughlin has exhibited widely in Ireland and internationally including at The Lab, Dublin, Limerick City Gallery of Art, Triskel Art Centre, Cork and as part of audio art radio events such as SonicEye, Helsinki 2000, Lola Gallery San Francisco 2003 and Resonant Cities, Glasgow 2004.

Open 7 days. Admission is FREE
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Limerick City Gallery of Art

Limerick City Gallery of Art
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