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"Convergence: Literary Art Exhibitions"

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Lerm Hayes, Christa-Maria (2011) "Convergence: Literary Art Exhibitions". Golden Thread Gallery. [Exhibition]

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URL: http://goldenthreadgallery.co.uk/event/convergence-literary-art-exhibitions/

Abstract

Emanating from the Joyce in Art exhibition I curated as the Irish Government's visual centrepiece of the "Bloomsday" centenary (Dublin, 2004; smaller versions: Tolstoy Estate, Russia 2010, MoA, National University Seoul 2011), my interests turned to how contemporary artistic positions relate to and interpret literature in multi-facetted, liberating ways. My essay in the Blackwell Companion to Joyce on this theme (2007) paved the way for my IAWIS (Word and Image Studies) focus conference "Displaying Word and Image", Belfast 2010 (WJT Mitchell keynote), as well as this exhibition. Convergence brought together art, literature and exhibition theory and practice by first setting out – through publications – a history of "literary art exhibitions" in the European tradition, virtually unknown here. Commodifying events have fed the tourist industry (and displayed a thought and research deficit), but exhibitions also thrived in extra/post-Greenbergian (European) discourses, where twentieth century art could meaningfully engage with literature (Szeemann).The exhibition then evidenced through artworks how artists foreground engaged, liberating elements of (canonical) literature. Irish literature, moreover, cannot uncritically be commodified, where writers emigrated from their “stifling” home country. Works reflecting on the act of reading were displayed alongside visual artists’ writings: the conceptual impetus of writing in visual art has given way to attempts at salvaging the now virtually obsolete book as artistic medium. Art Writing bridges the gap. Conceptual writing positions, educational concerns and a display of all relevant primary literature returned the exhibition’s cycle back to the now re-considered history of literary art exhibitions. There have been “meta exhibitions” before, but not in this area. Through the exhibitions’ Limerick run (B.O’Doherty spoke there), the point was generally understood that my work had prepared and contributed to discourses surrounding the UNESCO City of Literature status of Dublin and pertinent to, as well as co-terminus with, the Yeats-focussed Dublin Contemporary.

Item Type:Exhibition
Keywords:Literary Art Exhibitions; Word and Iamge; Exhibition; Literary Museums; Contemporary Art; Harald Szeemann; James Joyce, Samuel Beckett; Goethe, Schiller; Engaged art; Irish Culture; Art Writing; Conceptual Writing
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Art, Design and the Built Environment
Faculty of Art, Design and the Built Environment > Belfast School of Art
Research Institutes and Groups:Art and Design Research Institute
Art and Design Research Institute > Art and Context
Location:Golden Thread Gallery
Date:16 June 2011
ID Code:21018
Deposited By:Prof Dr Christa-Maria Lerm Hayes
Deposited On:17 Feb 2012 14:16
Last Modified:19 Apr 2013 09:31

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