38th EVA International – Ireland’s Biennial of Contemporary Art

 In Member News

Alexander Apóstol (in collaboration with Rafael Ortega)
HD video, 3-screen installation
54 min., divided into 6 chapters
courtesy of the artist

38th EVA International
April 14 – July 8, 2018

EVA International – Ireland’s Biennial of contemporary art proudly presents the 38th EVA International, featuring historical, recent and commissioned works by 56 artists in exhibitions across five venues in Limerick city and an extended programme at Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin.

The 38th EVA International takes its starting point from the painting Night’s Candles are Burnt Out (1927) by Irish artist Seán Keating. The painting presents an allegory of the Irish psyche at the time of the construction of Ardnacrusha, a hydroelectric dam built that same year on the border of County Limerick. Ardnacrusha, constructed in the early twentieth century, accelerated the national economy and radically shifted the society of the new Irish state. Keating’s social realist painting depicts a host of characters set against the backdrop of the construction site of the dam, whose lives are set to change by the dawning of a new era of technological progress.

Alongside Keating’s paintings of Ardnacrusha, the biennial includes works by artists from across geographies, generations, and media, addressing narratives of modernisation (in which electrification played a crucial role) and metaphors of power. Rather than a monolithic thematic exhibition, this edition of EVA International proposes itself as a kaleidoscope of essayistic, retinal and bodily narratives of artistic presentation.

The 38th EVA International has no title, breaking with a tradition that dates back to 1990. This decision, taken by curator Inti Guerrero, is designed to emphasize the word ‘international’ that is central to EVA’s identity. Guerrero explains: “In our current state of nationalisms, hard-borders, protectionism and a complete change of course in humanity, where the liberal belief of a ‘never again’ seems to be dismantling, the word ‘international’ suddenly carries an important weight worth embracing. Since its foundation in 1977 in Limerick, EVA has been a forerunner in understanding the world through art in a transnational, transcultural, international dialogue, presenting its contradictions, anxieties and possibilities.”

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