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The Marienbad Palace

Laura Buckley, Diana Copperwhite, Jorge De La Garza, Alicja Kwade, Haroon Mirza, Ian Monroe

Highlanes Municipal Gallery, Drogheda, Ireland- 30 April - 15 September 2010
Droichead Arts Centre, Drogheda, Ireland
- 30 April - 26 June 2010

Installation views, The Marienbad Palace, Highlanes Municipal Gallery, Drogheda, Ireland

“Sooner or later the process will halt, at that moment revealing the true dimensions of the world we inhabit, and which the visual centres of our timid brains have concealed from us.”[1]
JG Ballard, The Enormous Space

The Marienbad Palace brings together works by Laura Buckley, Diana Copperwhite, Jorge De La Garza, Alicja Kwade, Haroon Mirza and Ian Monroe. The exhibition is presented on the occasion of the 6th annual Drogheda Arts Festival (2010) and is co-produced by Highlanes Gallery and Droichead Arts Centre with the Drogheda and Louth Arts Office. Drogheda Arts Festival ran from Friday 30 April – May 3 recently, the full programme is still available to view at www.droghedaartsfestival.ie.

The exhibition, which includes collage, painting, sculpture, installation and video, explores ideas of reality beyond our everyday experiences of space and time. In the Marienbad Palace time stretches and is without duration, space is multidimensional, the distinction between subjective and objective reality blurred.

The exhibition takes its title from JG Ballard's short story The Enormous Space (1989) in which a man withdraws from the outside world in order to find a “far richer realm formed from the elements of light, time and space.”[2] The physical space of his suburban house expands to include an infinite, multidimensional universe, the first floor transformed into a “Marienbad Palace.” [3] Drawing upon Ballard's ideas of 'inner space' - the juncture that lies between the external physical world and internal world of the psyche - the exhibition presents works by six artists whose practices call into question our perception of reality.

Whilst some of the artists within the exhibition playfully explore ideas of theoretical physics and higher dimensional space, others examine the relationship between illusion and representation, creating dream like, virtual spaces. In other works, artists interrogate the environment around them, drawing our attention to the imperceptible and ephemeral within daily life. The Marienbad Palace invites us to question the nature of the world around us - a search for truth that is without absolutes, laden with illusion, partial glimpses and subterfuge.

Participating artists:

Laura Buckley creates immersive dream-like environments in the making of sculptural, multi-screen installations, combining video, three-dimensional elements and sound. Studio activities are juxtaposed with real life events, exploring and blurring points of separation and overlap. Buckley also uses ambient sounds in her work enabling each piece to exist as an ensemble of elements all of which interact between each other and the viewer. Light plays a lead role in her installations as it interacts between projectors, structures and their surrounding walls.

Laura Buckley studied at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin and completed her MA at Chelsea College of Art and Design, London in 2007. Her work has been featured at 176, London, in the Derek Jarman Film Programme at the Serpentine Gallery, London and numerous group shows in the UK and Europe. Her work is included in various public and private collections including the Zabludowicz, David Roberts and University of the Arts London collection.

Diana Copperwhite’s work deals primarily with memory; both the subjective and the collective. Her concern is not the recreation of a specific image or moment, but the creation of something informed by the act of remembering; an act which, subject as it is to it’s own shifting vagaries, renders past instances as ephemeral, untrustworthy, constantly in flux, resulting in works which themselves perpetually shift; their images lyrical and ghostlike and suggestive of an instance where “reality, memory and fantasy collide”.

Diana Copperwhite was born in Limerick and lives and works in Dublin. She studied at Limerick School of Art and Design, the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, and Winchester School of Art and Design, Barcelona. In 2007, she was the recipient of the AIB Art Prize. She has exhibited widely in Ireland and Europe and her work is included in many collections including Irish Museum of Modern Art, Arts Council of Ireland and Highlanes Gallery.

Jorge De la Garza’s collage work appropriates images found in second-hand books, using them as vehicles of metaphysical inquiry. Through a series of concordances and juxtapositions, he creates new, unresolved images that explore the fundamental nature of being and the world.
Jorge De la Garza graduated from MA Fine Art at Chelsea College in 2007, and was recently selected for Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2009. His work has also been featured in Late at Tate at Tate Britain, the Wormhole Saloon at the Whitechapel Gallery and The Projection Gallery at the Liverpool Biennial.

Alicja Kwade works with the basic forces of physics which make up our world, going back to the origin of the universe, where matter, space and time emerged from a singularity at its zero point. In her sculpture, installation and films she seeks to make the unpresentable graspable and finds a sensory correspondence for abstract phenomena, which only find their fulfilment in theory and are perceived by us only in a very small fraction.
Alicja Kwade (born 1979 in Kattowice, Poland) lives and works in Berlin, where she studied at the Universität der Künste until 2005. In 2008 she won the Piepenbrock Prize for Sculpture, which was conjoined with a large solo exhibition at the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum for Contemporary Art – Berlin.

Haroon Mirza’s sculptural installations reveal the latent symphonies that he identifies between seemingly disparate objects. Mirza attempts to isolate the perceptual distinctions between noise, sound and music and explores the possibility of the visual and acoustic as one singular aesthetic form. These ideas are examined through the production of assemblages and sculptural installations made from furniture, household electronics, found or constructed video footage and existing artworks combined to generate audio compositions.

Haroon Mirza holds an MA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art & Design and an MA in Design Critical Practice and Theory, from Goldsmiths’ College. His first solo exhibition was at The A-Foundation, Liverpool (2009) and he participated in Boule To Braid at Lisson Gallery, London, and the Sheffield Pavilion, Istanbul, both 2009. Mirza lives and works in Sheffield and London.

Ian Monroe's most recent works play with the proposed notion of a single identifiable moment in which the entirety of a universe comes into being - both real and imagined. Drawing on a number of sources, including the writings of the Russian philosopher P.D. Ouspensky, the architectural propositions of Super Studio and the attempts by 16th century German astronomer, Johannes Kepler, to unify the known universe through geometry, Monroe's meticulously constructed, hand-cut vinyl images and linear sculptures simultaneously embody and question our collective desire to build structures and generate systems of order.

Ian Monroe lives and works in London. Born in New York and raised in the planned community of Reston, Virginia, the artist received his MA from Goldsmith College, University of London in 2002.

[1] JG Ballard, The Complete Short Stories, The Enormous Space, Harper Perennial 2006, p707

[2] JG Ballard, The Complete Short Stories, The Enormous Space, Harper Perennial 2006, p 700

[3] A reference by JG Ballard to Alain Resnais' 1961 film Last Year in Marienbad


Reviews & Press:

- RTE Radio 1 Program about 'The Marienbad Palace' and interview with Aoife Ruane, Director of the Highlanes Municipal Gallery.

Click here to listen to the program (original broadcast Wednesday 19th May 2010).

- Interview by Els Borghart - Els Borghart interviewed me about curating and the exhibition 'The Marienbad Palace' for Droichead Arts Centre blog.

Click here to read.

- The Marienbad Palace is discusssed in Peter Fitzgerald's Editors Blog in Circa.

Click here to read.


Related Events:

- Amanda Coogan reads the short story The Enormous Space by J.G. Ballard

Venue: Highlanes Municipal Gallery, Drogheda
Date: Thursday 26th August 2010
Time: 12 noon

Artist Amanda Coogan reads the short story The Enormous Space by J.G. Ballard. The story is the starting point of the current exhibition The Marienbad Palace, curated by Jacqui McIntosh which runs until 15th September.

Cost: Free, donation of €2 encouraged

Click here for further information

- Talk at Highlanes Municipal Gallery and Droichead Arts Centre.

Venue: Highlanes Municipal Gallery, Drogheda
Date: Saturday 1st May 2010
Time: 12 noon

Join the curator, Jacqui McIntosh and one of the exhibiting artists, Ian Monroe discussing the exhibition 'The Marienbad Palace'.
The talk starts at Highlanes Gallery and continues to Droichead Arts Centre
Admission : Free, duration 45minutes

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