This programme has been made possible with the generous support of the John Ellerman Foundation. This year’s recipient is Gregory McCartney, a curator based in Derry.
The show explores ‘the end of things’; the end of personal and social empires; not particularly in regard to colonialism but rather the apocalyptic element inherent in their destruction, the failure of philosophies; the failure of systems; the failure of people. This will be the first time any of these artists have shown in Ireland.
I will go there, take me home, curated by Derry-based Gregory McCartney showcases the work of Romanian artist Adrian Ghenie, South African artist Pieter Hugo and Polish artist Olaf Brzeski.
Adrian Ghenie's multilayered, haunting images reference a variety of sources, including news media, classic films, state archives, and social media sites. Many of his paintings reflect the traumatic history of dictatorship in his native Romania and beyond, particularly the legacy of Nicolae Ceausescu, Romania's last communist leader. In combining personal and cultural memory with recognizable scenes from history and art, Ghenie seeks the universality of myth in specific moments from the past, while also visualizing the violence of appropriation and interpretation. Ghenie (b. 1971, Baia Mare, Romania) is a member of Cluj's Fabrica de Pensule (The Paintbrush Factory) as well as co-founder, with Mihai Pop, of the gallery Plan B, Cluj/Berlin. He lives and works in Berlin and Cluj.
Pieter Hugo (born 1976 in Johannesburg) is a photographic artist living in Cape Town. Major museum solo exhibitions have taken place at The Hague Museum of Photography, Musée de l'Elysée in Lausanne, Ludwig Museum in Budapest, Fotografiska in Stockholm, MAXXI in Rome and the Institute of Modern Art Brisbane, among others. Hugo has participated in numerous group exhibitions at institutions including Tate Modern, the Folkwang Museum, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, and the São Paulo Bienal. His work is represented in prominent public and private collections, among them the Museum of Modern Art, V&A Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, J Paul Getty Museum, Walther Collection, Deutsche Börse Group, Folkwang Museum and Huis Marseille. Hugo received the Discovery Award at the Rencontres d'Arles Festival and the KLM Paul Huf Award in 2008, the Seydou Keita Award at the Rencontres de Bamako African Photography Biennial in 2011, and was shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2012.
Olaf Brzeski’s work spans many different media, but his practice is unified by a central sense of iconic situations having gone awry. For Brzeski, the hunter becomes the hunted, the superhero-savior is hideously deformed, the stately bust is bloated and misshapen. The black cloud sculpture called “Dream – Spontaneous Combustion” was inspired by Olaf trying to clean out a stuffed chimney in his apartment, and ending up with a house covered in soot. Brzeski’s work has been included in solo and group shows throughout Poland and in Prague, Copenhagen, Budapest, and Lille.