August 31, 2015 - Project Arts Centre - David Claerbout / Gretchen Bender: Total Recall
August 31, 2015

Project Arts Centre

Gretchen Bender, Total Recall, 1987. Installation view, Tate Liverpool, 2015.

David Claerbout
August 14–October 11, 2015

Gretchen Bender
Total Recall
October 22–December 23, 2015

Project Arts Centre
39 East Essex Street
Temple Bar
Hours: Monday–Saturday 11am–7pm

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Project Arts Centre proudly presents two solo exhibitions:

David Claerbout
David Claerbout is a master of visual ambiguity, presenting scenes built from a complex association between photography, film and sound. Included in his first solo exhibition in Ireland are four recent projects—Travel (2013), The Quiet Shore (2011), The Algiers’ Sections of a Happy Moment (2008) and Long Goodbye (2007).

A shared characteristic between David Claerbout’s projections (rather than "slide-shows," "films," "videos" or "animations") is the simplicity of the perceived subject matter: the works variously focus on a woodland thicket, a beach scene, a group of people at play, or a waved goodbye. But it is within the details, textures, tempos and duration of each work that his real preoccupations lie—time, and the making of images. His is a practice where burgeoning awareness creeps up on you as a viewer, nagging questions of authenticity start to haunt, and our idea of scale based on a fixed position in space becomes unsettled, destabilised, set adrift. The exhibition presents the works sequentially, with a constant companion in Long Goodbye. Through the installation environment it also attempts to further complicate our relationship with the real, or given infrastructure of viewing, and the perceived reality of David Claerbout’s created worlds.


Gretchen Bender
Total Recall
Total Recall launches itself on our senses. It hits us in the eyes, the memory, the ears, the body, and our index of meaning—the part of us that recognises a corporate logo, a scene from a film or a title, and then wrenches to mind its associations. Careening across the numerous screens and television box-sets, images and sound are edited to participate in the making of a symphony—the performance and now installation of what Gretchen Bender called "electronic theatre." Through this single seminal work of art, we can feel the power of an extraordinary artist, who Hal Foster calls an "oxymoron: a feminist futurist." Bender ricochets between cinema samples and graphic symbols, advertisements and her own footage, and zooms in repeatedly to examples of military propaganda and corporate self-representation. The concept of electronic theatre couldn’t be more apt, with its dynamic rhythm, waxing and waning tempo and crescendo of intensity.

Installed in the gallery of Project Arts Centre (also a natural home of theatre and performance), Total Recall has prompted the commissioning of a new work by artist Oisin Byrne. The printed and painted curtain is designed as a graphic entrance to Bender’s theatre—its thick and layered fabric protecting and containing the audio visual environment. Through a combination of optical patterns and manual gestures, the entrance curtain brings an artist of the current generation into dialogue with an artist whose influence continues to grow after her death.

Project Arts Centre extends our warm thanks to the studio of David Claerbout, Tse-Ling Uh and Bram Vandeveire for their support. Our thanks as well to Cay-Sophie Rabinowitz and the Estate of Gretchen Bender; Francesco Manacorda, Darren Pih and Tate Liverpool; and Jonathan Ellis King for their generous support in realising Gretchen Bender.


Project Arts Centre is Ireland’s multi-disciplinary arts centre in the heart of Dublin. The visual arts are curated by Tessa Giblin, who is curator of the forthcoming steirischer herbst exhibition of 2015: Hall of Half-Life. In 2016 Project Arts Centre will celebrate its 50th year, framed by the idea of Rebellion.

Admission to the visual arts at Project Arts Centre is always free.

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