Ormston House, in partnership with EVA International and Making Histories Visible, is pleased to present Murder Machine a project curated by Christine Eyene in collaboration with Ormston House, featuring Ceara Conway, George Hallett, Linda O’Keeffe, The Otolith Group and Rusangano Family.
Education should foster; this education is meant to repress.
Education should inspire; this education is meant to tame.
Education should harden; this education is meant to enervate.
Pádraig H. Pearse (1916)
Murder Machine revisits thoughts and writings by Irish linguist and activist Pádraig Pearse (1879-1916), one of the leading figures of the Easter Rising, who voiced criticism against the English educational system imposed on Ireland. In his eponymous pamphlet The Murder Machine (January 1916), compiling articles and notes dated between 1912 and 1914, Pearse spoke of a system devised “for the debasement of Ireland”. He described it as a system doing “violence to the elementary human rights of Irish children” and compared it to slave education.
His criticism echoed many of the concerns expressed by leading African intellectuals and anti-colonial activists who challenged the effects of colonisation on African cultures. In South Africa for instance, the usage of European languages in the formation of African modernity quickly became a matter of debate. This was, for instance, the case of the New African Movement (1860s-1960s) that championed the cause of African languages. The iconic Heinemann African Writers Series launched with Chinua Achebe’s seminal novel Things Fall Apart (1958) was not spared such questioning about vernacular languages. In a similar vein, of the Négritude movement that emerged in 1930s Paris, South African writer, activist and educationist Ezekiel Mphahlele once asked: “is African writing in French not French literature?”
Murder Machine brings together Ceara Conway (Ireland), George Hallett (South Africa), Linda O’Keeffe (Ireland/UK), The Otolith Group (UK) and Rusangano Family: God Knows, MuRli and mynameisjOhn (Zimbabwe/Togo/Ireland) for an interactive display and a series of monthly public interventions around language, text and literature across histories, geographies and political contexts, through art pieces, performances and archival material previously unseen in Ireland.
These include The Otolith Group’s One out of Many Afrophilias (2014), an installation that summons the energies of the controversial literary magazine Transition, founded in 1961 in Kampala by Rajat Neogy. The piece conjures Transition’s influential Afropolitanism into a fictional environment that combines interior décor with display system and reading room. George Hallett’s original 1970s and 80s photographic compositions for Heinemann’s African Writers Series and his portraits of African writers are presented alongside rare editions of the series, and books from the curator’s collection documenting the 1976 Soweto Uprising.
Also programmed in the project: a live performance by Ormston House artist in residence Ceara Conway who will give a dramatic reinterpretation of Roisín Dubh (Dark Rosaleen), the symbolic poem marking the end of Gaelic Ireland; a new piece produced by Limerick-based DJ Deviant (16 April). Linda O’Keeffe will premiere a newly created sound piece responding to 19th and 20th century Irish Independence movements through two key texts: The Irish Declaration of Independence and Pádraig Pearse’s The Murder Machine (12 May). Finally, Rusangano Family will host an informal, interactive workshop looking at the creative processes involved in writing, recording and producing their new album Let the Dead Bury the Dead (2 June).
Murder Machine is presented at Ormston House in partnership with EVA International and Making Histories Visible as part the Federation of arts organisations and institutions responding to the curatorial concept of Ireland’s Biennial 2016: Still (the) Barbarians.
16 April – 17 July 2016
Press preview: Thursday 14 April
Opening: Saturday 16 April, 12 – 2pm, with a curator’s tour by Christine Eyene and DUBH, a live performance by Ceara Conway produced by DJ Deviant.
9-10 Patrick Street
Wed – Sat | 12 – 6pm
For press information and images, please contact:
EVA International - Ireland Biennial
Limerick City Gallery of Art, Pery Square / +35361310633 / eva.ie
Apr 16 - Jul 10, 2016
EVA International 2016
Still (the) Barbarians
Curated by Koyo Kouoh
EVA International – Ireland's Biennial of Contemporary Art is pleased to announce that the 37th edition in 2016 will be curated by Koyo Kouoh, independent curator and founding artistic director of RAW Material Company, a centre for art, knowledge and society in Dakar, Senegal.
2016 is a meaningful year for Ireland as it marks the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising that began on 24 April 1916, a moment of great significance in the struggle for liberation from British colonial rule. Responding to the context of the centenary, EVA 2016 will be titled Still (the) Barbarians and will investigate the post-colonial condition of Ireland as a point of departure from where artistic reflections, critical redefinitions and political transformations are articulated.
The biennial programme will address artistic, architectural, literary and critical positions that interpret colonial effects on the psyche, landscape and imagination, and that continue to shape our present condition. Diasporicdispersions followed by invasive disruptions of social, cultural, religious and political orders have long been subject matter for artists, writers, filmmakers, architects, scientists and activists. Coinciding with the centenary of the Easter Rising, Still (the) Barbarians aims to draw a concentric artistic and political cartography, mapping the conflations and confines of the global post-colonial typology with Ireland as its central starting point.
The convecting discourses on racism as a foundational and enduring system for exclusion and exploitation will appear throughout the biennial as the framework on which to build contemporary fictions and future utopias of togetherness. Still (the) Barbarians will further examine the relationships between the various forms of mental, physical and institutional decolonization across the world in comparison to Ireland as the primary testing territory of Western colonization systems before their expansion to the global map. Informed by the longstanding and persistent unease with forms of subjugation, alienation, humiliation and dispossession and their inevitable result in war and terror, the curatorial project wishes to engage with practices displaying aesthetics of subversion, transcendence and reappropriation.
Commenting on her appointment and curatorial approach to Still (the) Barbarians, Koyo Kouoh said: “Ireland, which I consider the first and foremost laboratory of the British colonial enterprise, has always been a fixture in my thinking on the psychological and political effects a system designed to humiliate and alienate can have on peoples' souls. The coincidence of EVA 2016 with the centenary celebrations of the Easter Rising provides a welcome opportunity to engage artists and thinkers in this exciting discussion.”
Artists' projects will be selected through an open call for proposals that launches today. Proposals are invited from individual artists or groups in response to the curatorial project Still (the) Barbarians and the context of the Easter Rising centenary. Proposals can be in any medium and for the presentation of existing works or production of new projects. Selected artists will receive exhibition fees and production budgets as appropriate. The online application process is now open and closes at noon IST on Monday 15 June 2015. Enquiries about the application process or curatorial project can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org before Friday 15 May.
About Koyo Kouoh
Koyo Kouoh is an independent curator, founding artistic director of RAW Material Company, a centre for art, knowledge and society in Dakar and curator of FORUM, the education programme at 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair in London and New York. She served in the curatorial teams for documenta 12 (2007) and 13 (2012), and recent projects include Body Talk: Feminism, Sexuality and the Body in the work of six African women artists, WIELS, Lunds Konsthall, 49N6E FRAC Lorraine (2015–16); Precarious Imaging: Visibility surrounding African Queerness, RAW Material Company (2014). In collaboration with Rasha Salti, Kouoh is currently working on Saving Bruce Lee: African and Arab Cinema in the Era of Soviet Cultural Diplomacy, a three-year research, exhibition and publication project to be held at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow in June 2015 and September 2016. She lives and works in Dakar and Basel.
About EVA International
EVA International is Ireland's Biennial of Contemporary Art. Every two years EVA International works with guest curators to create a 12-week programme of exhibitions and events that engages with the people and city of Limerick, Ireland. Since being founded in 1977 EVA International has been curated by Bassam El Baroni (2014); Annie Fletcher (2012); Elizabeth Hatz (2010); Angelika Nollert & Yilmaz Dziewior (2009); Hou Hanru (2008); Klaus Ottmann (2007); Katerina Gregos (2006); Dan Cameron (2005); Zdenka Badovinac (2004); Virginia Pérez Ratton (2003); Apinan Poshyananda (2002); Salah M. Hassan (2001); Rosa Martínez (2000); Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn (1999); Paul M. O'Reilly (1998); Guy Tortosa (1996); María de Corral (1995); Jan Hoet (1994); Gloria Moure (1993); Lars Nittve (1992); Germano Celant (1991); Saskia Bos (1990); Florent Bex and Alexander Roshin (1988); Ida Panicelli (1987); Nabuo Nakamura (1986); Rudi Fuchs (1985); Peter Fuller (1984); Liesbeth Brandt Corstius (1982); Pierre Restany (1981); Brian O'Doherty (1980); Sandy Nairne (1979); Adrian Hall, Charles Harper, Theo Mcnab, Cóilín Murray (1978); Barrie Cooke, John Kelly, and Brian King (1977).
For further information please see www.eva.ie or contact email@example.com.
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