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Opening: Jumana Manna & The Artist's Eye: Haig Aivazian


Opening: Jumana Manna & The Artist's Eye: Haig Aivazian

The Douglas Hyde Gallery is proud to present the first solo shows in Ireland by two exciting artists: 'Wild Relatives', a beautiful and timely exhibition from Palestinian artist Jumana Manna that explores the values and attitudes that have lead us to our current environmental crisis; and 'Why Should Fear Seize the Limbs Before the Warning Sounds?' (2014–2018) by Lebanese artist Haig Aivazian.

Jumana Manna
'Wild Relatives'
Gallery 1

Continuing her exploration of archives, and in particular their complex relationship with both the preservation and erasure of knowledge, Jumana Manna’s 'Wild Relatives' at the DHg brings together the artist’s 2018 feature-length documentary film of the same name, and newly commissioned sculptural work, produced this year through a production residency at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) with the generous support of the Ceramics and Glass programme at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD).

From the frozen wastes of Svalbard, an island in the Arctic Ocean, to the semi-arid landscape of the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, the film 'Wild Relatives' (2018) crosses diverse geographies, political contexts and personal lives to create a series of loose links around its main protagonist: seeds. At the heart of the documentary is an international transaction of seeds between the Svalbard Global Seed Vault and a relocated seed genebank in Lebanon. As the film unfolds, these seeds, tiny living archives, become the focus of an exploration into how global power structures play out in the agricultural, as much as in the political, field.

The combination of the existing film with new sculptural elements in this significant solo show at the DHg amplifies the urgency of the work, which makes the important link between colonial violence, the war in Syria and the degradation of our natural environment.

This exhibition has been generously supported by the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (ifa).

We would like to thank IMMA - Irish Museum of Modern Art for their production residency, Janice Hough, Assistant Curator: Residency and Artists’ Programmes at IMMA, Lisa Young and Sinéad Glynn at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD), Mick O’Hara of Fire Station Artists' Studios, and in particular ceramicist Paul Martin, for their support in the realisation of new work by Jumana Manna in Dublin.

The Artist's Eye: Haig Aivazian
Gallery 2

Acknowledging the crucial role artists play in influencing and shaping other artistic practices, ‘The Artist’s Eye’ series asks those exhibiting in Gallery 1 to invite an artist of significant influence to present work in Gallery 2. In the fifth instalment in this series, Jumana Manna has invited Haig Aivazian.

The selected work, 'Why Should Fear Seize the Limbs Before the Warning Sounds?' (2014–2018) commemorates figurative fires, appropriating symbols from the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and both Gulf Wars (1990–1991, 2003–2011). In this exhibition, as in much of the artist’s work, the actors and witnesses of history are not human players; rather, they are comprised of the materials, architectures and practices intentionally or inadvertently constructed or destroyed by human actions.

7 December 2018–23 February 2019

Palestinian artist JUMANA MANNA (b. 1987) makes films and sculptures that explore the ways in which social, political and interpersonal forms of power interact with the human body. Her films weave together fact and fiction, biographical and archival materials, to investigate constructions of national and historical narratives. Her sculptures, more abstract by comparison, take interest in the calcifications of memory, as represented by the artefact real or forged. In recent projects, Manna has used film and sculpture to recompose various materials that pertain to historical narratives of the Levant and northern Europe as separate and relational geographies. These works have explored the ways in which economic, political and interpersonal forms of power condition architectural sites as well as human and plant life. Manna has a particular interest in the erasures that accompany various modern scientific preservation practices; her projects challenge the binary constructions of pure and unchanging heritage on the one hand, and the embrace of innovation on the other. Recent solo exhibitions include: Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Oslo, 2018; Mercer Union, Toronto, 2017; Chisenhale Gallery, London, UK, 2015; Malmo Konsthall, SE, 2016; Beirut Art Center, Lebanon, 2015; and Sculpture Center, New York, USA, 2014. Manna has participated in group exhibitions in the Nordic Pavilion, Venice Biennale (2017), at Kunsthalle Wien, Liverpool Biennial, 20th Biennale of Sydney, Marrakech Biennale 6, The Jerusalem Show VII, Al Ma’mal Foundation, and Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Bærum. Manna’s films have been screened in festivals such as the 54th Viennale International Film Festival, 66th Berlinale Forum and IFFR Rotterdam. She was awarded the A.M. Qattan Foundation’s Young Palestinian Artist Award in 2012, the Ars Viva Prize for Visual Arts 2017, and was nominated for the Preis der Nationalgalerie für junge Kunst in Berlin in 2017. She lives and works in Berlin.

HAIG AIVAZIAN (b. 1980, Beirut) is an artist and writer living in Beirut. Working across a wide range of media, he delves into the ways in which ideologies embed, affect and move people, objects and architecture. Often departing from known events, and weaving in lesser-known narratives, he has explored apparatuses of control and sovereignty at work in sports, finance, museums and music. Aivazian holds an MFA from Northwestern University and is a Skowhegan alumnus (2011). His exhibitions include Chiado 8, Lisbon PT, Cappadox TR, Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus US (2018), Nottingham Contemporary UK, Maxxi Rome IT, McaM Shanghai CN, Kadist Paris FR (2017), Montréal CA and Marrakech MA Biennials (2016), Venice IT and Istanbul TR Biennials (2015). He has performed and screened his videos in Babylon Kino Berlin DE, Ashkal Alwan Beirut LB, Magasins Généraux Paris FR, Gene Siskel Film Center Chicago US, YBCA San Francisco US (2018), 67th Berlinale DE, 16th !f Istanbul (2017), Asia Society New York US, Kölnischer Kunstverein DE, LAMAG US (2014), Homeworks 6 Beirut LB (2013), Videobrasil Sao Paulo (2013) and FIDMarseille FR (2012). Among his curated exhibitions are: Roads Were Open/Roads Were Closed at The Third Line, Dubai AE (2008); and Plot for a Biennial, Sharjah Biennial 10 AE (2011), of which he was Associate Curator. Aivazian has contributed to a number of publications including Afterall, Manifesta and INCITE! Journals, FUSE, Adbusters, Bidoun, Makhzin, The Daily Star Beirut, AMCA (Association for Modern and Contemporary Art of the Arab World, Iran, and Turkey) and The Arab Studies Journal, among others.

Image: Jumana Manna, Wild Relatives, 2018. Film still, courtesy of the artist. Photography: Marte Vold.

The Douglas Hyde Gallery is proudly supported by Arts Council Ireland/An Comhairle Ealaíon and Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin.

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