Linda Quinlan

Linda Quinlan

Galway Arts Centre

Linda Quinlan
I’ve seen your bravery and I will follow you there, 2007
DVD still, 2-channel DVD projection
Courtesy of the artist

May 22, 2008

Linda Quinlan
Like Horses and Fog

June 6 – July 5, 2008
Preview Wednesday, June 5 at 6pm

Linda Quinlan’s arrival in Tasmania for a residency early in 2007 coincided with the fly-by of Comet McNaught. Although Tasmania should have been an ideal spot from which to view the comet, Quinlan was never able to see the heavenly body, much less record it, so instead she made her own, filming at an angle inside a pinhole camera filled with smoke. The video of that ersatz celestial event comprises half of I’ve seen your bravery and I will follow you there, a two-channel projection that constitutes the centerpiece of her recent body of work. The other half features a shot of the pinhole camera itself, standing in a clearing among trees, lonely save for the calls of unseen birds. We Forgot to Write The End, a single-channel video, features a stray dog frisking on the grounds of the abandoned Beaumaris Zoo, where the last known thylacine, the carnivorous marsupial known as the Tasmanian tiger, died in captivity in 1936. Taken together, these two works create a mood of reverie, a nostalgic meditation on what is lost and can never be regained, on what—because of inclement weather or extinction caused by man—must always remain obscure and ineffable. Quinlan writes a melancholy poetry of the irretrievably unknowable.

The artist installs her videos among paintings, drawings, and sculptures, forming an ensemble of exquisite and precisely calibrated contingency. A Nigerian necklace of Bakelite beads hangs from a long brass pole that leans precariously against the wall on a small patch of rabbit fur (I Don’t Think They’ll Ever Catch Us); two panels, delicately painted with motifs of twisting ribbons and radiating circles that may refer to the molecular or to the cosmic, are hinged to the wall and to each other, making their position in the world as tenuous as their compositions (Things Surround Us); a watercolor discovered in an Australian thrift store shows a flowering cactus and perches uncertainly on a sharply angled M-shaped bracket (I Can Hardly Sit Still). This watercolor became the jumping-off point for the work of five other artists, from Ireland and the U.K., invited by Quinlan to contribute to the project. Even the catalogue of her recent exhibition at the Crawford Gallery in Cork—with fictional interviews, inconclusive correspondence, and enigmatic found photographs—may be construed as an integral component of her investigation into the aporias of knowledge and the caesuras in the narratives we use to understand the world.

Linda Quinlan’s exhibition is accompanied the first major publication on the her work, featuring an essay by Sally O’Reilly, a short story by Cathal Coughlan, and texts by the artist. Many works have been created specifically for this publication, including contributions from Anna Barham (UK), David Joyce (IRL), Lorna McIntyre (UK), Giles Round (UK), and Lee Welch (IRL). This publication has been generously funded by Allied Irish Bank.

Linda Quinlan (B.1977) lives and works in Dublin and is a member of Temple Bar Gallery and Studios. She exhibits widely both at home and internationally. Recent exhibitions include, Come Together, at the Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, I am always touched by your presence, (Dear), at The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Like Horses and Fog, at The Crawford Gallery, Cork and An Other Place, at the Long Gallery, Hobart. She was recently selected for The Advanced Course in Visual Arts at The Fonazione Ratti Museum, Como, Italy with Yona Friedman. Forthcoming exhibitions include L’Art en Europe, an international exhibition at Chateau Pommery, Reims, CSAV at Careof Gallery, Milan, Preview Art Fair, Berlin and a solo exhibition at Ard Bia, Berlin. In 2006 she was awarded the prestigious AIB prize. Her work is in the collection of The Irish Museum of Modern Art, The Irish Arts Council and several private collections.

Joseph R. Wolin.

Joseph R. Wolin is an independent curator and critic living in New York.

The Galway Arts Centre
47 Dominick St
+353 (0) 91 565886
Opening hours Mon – Sat, 10am – 6pm.

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May 22, 2008

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