Eva International Opening Weekend

38th Eva International Opening

Friday 13 April

The 38th edition of EVA International 2018 connects the narrative futures of early twentieth century Ireland with the sexual and identity politics of the present day. The exhibition takes its starting point from the painting Night Candles are Burnt Out (1927) by Irish artist Sean Keating, which presents an allegory of the Irish psyche at the advent of the construction of Ardnacrusha – a hydroelectric dam, built that same year on the border of County Limerick.

Since its inception in the 1970s, the 12-week long programme of events has become a major kingpin in the cultural calendar, both in Ireland and abroad, and a fantastic achievement in Limerick as well as for the wider artistic community involved in its ambitious production.” Curator Inti Guerrero has been interviewed in CIRCA Art Magazine about his edition, the 38th EVA International, “At EVA, the exhibitions that are installed in each venue have their own autonomous constellation of meaning. There are very kaleidoscopic, diverse, entry points to the biennial, rather than one single monolithic thematic.”

I attended two events as well as the opening talk by curator Inti Guerrero in the evening.

My Picks of the Biennial

Malala Andrialavidrazana Madagascar/France b. 1971

Figures 1876 Basic World View and Figures 1886, Voyages Autour du Monde, Ultrachrome pigment print on Hahnemuhle cotton rag, 2018

The source materials for these digital collages are vintage world atlases and bank notes. They highlight sites of civil engineering such as hydroelectric dams, used by governments as symbols of progress and national pride – or even as state propaganda. The economic optimism in these collages appears distant from today’s social realities.

Laurent Grasso France, b. 1972

Soliel Double, 16mm film loop, 11min, 2014

The animated film was shot in Esposizione Universale Roma, a residential and business district in Rome built for the unrealised 1942 Worlds fair which was intended to celebrate the 20 year anniversary of fascism and as a display of Mussolini’s power. Within the sequence of the film showing the Palace of Italian Civilisation, two suns appear, referring to a theory that the sun has a twin- a nemesis that beckons catastrophe and doom.

Dan Rees UK, b. 1982

Sediments of the Mind, clay, sand pigment, lime, horsehair, wood, 2016

These sculptures are made using a building method in which the earth is compressed in wooden molds to form walls that are suitable for housing construction. Rees’s works present these layers in a way that mimics the processes of deep geological time.

Gonzalo Fuenmayor Columbia, b. 1977

Apocalypse XXI, Charcoal on Paper, 2017

A chandelier hanging from a banana branch represents the imbalance of power between Eurocentric plantation owners and the commodities and labours they seek to exploit. Banana plantation workers have been systematically abused and repressed throughout the 20th and 21st Centuries at the hands of the former United Fruit Company, as well as other fruit export corporations still operating today in Latin America and South-East Asia.

Repeal the Eighth  Procession

Abortion rights protesters organized a procession to time with the launch of Eva International biennial, in Limerick, Ireland. Artists’ Campaign to Repeal the Eighth Amendment marched through the town ahead of the exhibition opening […] Artists Alice Maher, Sarah Cullen and Rachel Fallon, Áine Phillips and Breda Maycock designed banners for the procession.” ‘We’re very aware of the power of imagery,’ Maher told the Guardian. ‘When you reclaim imagery, you take the power back.’