Irish Pavilion at the 56th International Art Exhibition—La Biennale di Venezia
9 May–22 November 2015
Preview: 6–8 May
Artiglierie of the Arsenale
Curator: Woodrow Kernohan
The Work Adventure: Capital that traces a journey from myth to minimalism around Ireland and Britain. Combining sculptural, video and archival elements, Adventure: Capital will be Lynch’s most ambitious project to date, bringing together Greek river gods; public art at regional airports; quarries and the art of stone-carving; an abandoned sculpture in Cork; and a traffic roundabout, on a storytelling journey that unravels notions of value and the flow of capital through an anthropological lens.
Sean Lynch forensically investigates anecdotes, hearsay and half-truths, unearthing marginalised stories that have been overlooked or fallen by the wayside. His idiosyncratic, yet meticulous research and fieldwork, absorbs these disparate fragments—social and cultural blind spots—and forms them into alternative arrangements of history, opening up new understandings of our world. For Adventure: Capital, Lynch’s narrative inhabits a wandering spirit, encountering the hegemonic structures and entwined flows of capital, migration, and neoliberal spatiality. Through his ethnographic methodology and allegory, Lynch playfully evokes the Irish bardic tradition, interrogating the complex motifs that connect an individual to a historically determinate environment and society.
Particular subjects and events have been resurrected through Lynch’s previous enquiries including: Joseph Beuys’s visit to Ireland in 1974; Celtic Revival architecture; and the mythical island of HyBrazil. Recent acclaimed projects have seen Lynch uncovering illicit sculptures made by Irish stone-carvers, the O’Shea brothers, in Oxford; exploring socially conservative reactions and vandalism to modern art in Ireland; working with the fast-food outlet on the site of the first museum in Britain; and locating repurposed remnants of the infamous DeLorean car factory at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.
Ireland at Venice is an initiative of Culture Ireland in partnership with the Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon. The Commissioner for the Irish Pavilion in 2015 is Mike Fitzpatrick, Director of Limerick National City of Culture 2014 and Head of School, Limerick School of Art and Design, LIT. The Curator is Woodrow Kernohan, Director of EVA International – Ireland’s Biennial, Limerick City. Adventure: Capital has been made possible through additional support from partners including The Model, Sligo; Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin; Limerick City Gallery of Art; Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast; Ronchini Gallery, London; Limerick City and County Council Arts Office; and Limerick School of Art and Design, LIT. Adventure: Capital will subsequently be presented as a touring exhibition throughout Ireland in 2016–17.
About the artist
Sean Lynch (b. 1978, Ireland) lives and works in London and Askeaton, Limerick, Ireland. He studied at the Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main and Limerick School of Art and Design, LIT. Recent solo exhibitions include Modern Art Oxford (2014); Dublin City Gallery the Hugh Lane (2013); The Model, Sligo (2012); Crawford Art Gallery, Cork (2011–12). Selected group exhibitions include Charles H. Scott Gallery, Vancouver (2013); IMMA | Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2011); Camden Arts Centre, London (2010); neugerriemschneider, Berlin (2010). Forthcoming exhibitions include CAPC, Musée d’Art Contemporain de Bordeaux and Lismore Castle Arts. He was awarded the TrAIN International Artist Residency at Gasworks, London (2012) and since 2006 has co-organised the residency and exhibition programme Askeaton Contemporary Arts in County Limerick. Lynch is represented by Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin, and is author and editor of many artist publications and bookworks.
Image: Sean Lynch, Adventure: Capital, 2014–15. Projected colour image. Courtesy of the artist, Ireland at Venice and Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin.