Contemporary art and the cinema at the IMMA

limited edition print created by artist Peter Doig for the Irish Museum of Modern Art

The current exhibition at the New Galleries at the Irish Museum of Modern Art at Kilmainham Cloud Illusions I Recall “explores the unique relationship between visual art and cinema.” It features works created or selected by  Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and Cerith Wyn Evans which “explore the cinematic experience”.

Like with most contemporary art exhibitions, for me it was something of a mixed bag, but it was worth a visit. I wasn’t so keen on the installations created by the French artist Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster. I’m afraid that type of work isn’t particularly to my taste. But I found Welsh artist Cerith Wyn Evans’ works interesting and stimulating. I’d seen his chandelier that flashes out a Morse code message at the Tate in Liverpool just a few weeks ago, and here was another version on the first floor of the exhibition at the IMMA.

A large chandelier glass is a mixture of clear, blue and orange colours and the lights look like candles

Astrophotography…The Traditional Measure of Photographic Speed in Astronomy…’ by Siegfried Marx (1987) Picture source: Tate website

There were also a couple of his works that were phrases spelled out using neon tubes. “Slow fade to black” and “Time here becomes space, Space here becomes time”. I can’t put into words why I liked them. They were simply words spelled out in neon. But recently I’ve become interested in the use of words as visual art.

One of the rooms in this small exhibition featured photographs including a small work by Cindy Sherman, but I particularly liked the photographs on display, including this haunting image, taken by a female Victorian photographer Lady Clementina Hawarden, who lived for a number of years in Dundrum, Co. Tipperary, 

Clementina Maude, photography by Lady Clementina Hawarden, about 1862-3. Museum no. PH.457:344-1968

Clementina Maude, photograph by Lady Clementina Hawarden, about 1862-3. (Source V&A website)

Her photographs were very accomplished and artistic with her subjects adopting dramatic poses. Their justification for inclusion in the exhibition was their “cinematic” style. There’s some good information on her life and work on the V&A Museum website here.

But my favourite exhibits were the series of film posters painted by Peter Doig for his weekly film club in Trinidad.

Peter Doig, Untitled (Cat on a Hot Tin roof), 2011, Oil on paper, 86.5 x 60 cm, Courtesy the artist and the Michael Werner Gallery, New York and London., © Peter Doig

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