40th EVA International, “The Gleaners Society”
              Ben Eastham
              In Lewis Carroll’s Sylvie and Bruno Concluded (1893), a lost tourist complains that the maps are much better in his homeland. So advanced are the cartographers there, he boasts, that they long since moved beyond puny pocket-maps to execute a map of the country “on the scale of a mile to the mile.” It hasn’t yet been spread out, he concedes, because “the farmers objected.” Yet on realizing that this perfect map very closely resembled the territory, his compatriots instead learned to navigate “using the country itself.” So now they have no need of maps. This parable is used to support Stephen Wright’s proposal, cited by Sebastian Cichocki in his curatorial statement for an exhibition program scattered across Limerick, that art should also operate “on a 1:1 scale.” By a logic that might seem strained even to Alice, Wright suggests that artists take their cues from Carroll’s cartographers and make art that is coextensive with reality. This seems spectacularly to miss the point of the joke: if you don’t need maps, then you don’t need cartographers; if reality is its own representation, then you don’t need artists. If you want to intervene directly in the existing systems, you need …
              EVA International: “Still (the) Barbarians”
              Aoife Rosenmeyer
              In her catalogue introduction, Koyo Kouoh calls Ireland “the first and foremost colonial laboratory of the British enterprise.” It’s a striking statement from the curator of EVA International biennial in Limerick. Titling the biennial “Still (the) Barbarians,” Kouoh uses it as a platform to consider how the legacies of colonialism affect the world today. As Kouoh mentions in her text, post-colonial discourse is scarcely present in the Irish consciousness. (Mythologizing, on the other hand, has long been a powerful tool of the Irish imagination.) This year is the one-hundredth anniversary of the Easter Rising of 1916, including the Proclamation of the Republic by rebel leaders, which began a series of events resulting in the Irish War of Independence of 1919–21 and the subsequent end of British rule. A cursory glance at countless posters advertising anniversary events suggests that this is still the case, though the celebrations have also instigated an opportune, more objective reassessment of history, one that questions, for instance, the wisdom of staging a poorly planned armed uprising in a densely inhabited urban location where innocent bystanders were bound to be killed. There’s also a fresh recognition of how retellings of the Easter Rising in the decades that …

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