Curated by Aoife Tunney
“The act of architecture is significant in its unavoidable manner of influence and its ability to affect mood, orientation, pleasure, economy and feelings” (architectural historian, Joseph Rykwert)
Temple Bar Gallery and Studios presents Conquested, an exhibition curated by Aoife Tunney and featuring the work of Irish artists Culturstruction, Aoife Desmond, Karl Burke, Dennis McNulty and Carl Giffney. Conquested is an exhibition that focuses on architecture and how we experience it in cities. The exhibition is held across three venues; Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, The Paper Store , a warehouse in the Docklands area of Dublin and Unit 3 Spencer Dock, Dublin.
The artists’ practices within Conquested consider flexible architecture, nature and the city, the physical experience of the self among architecture, the psychology of space, the notion of planning, drawing and technology, myth, communication, time, place and memory.
Conquested takes as its starting point the short story, The Concentration City, by JG Ballard, 1952. Set in a dystopian, futuristic city, the story centres around its protagonist Franz who had a dream about flying a home-made glider, in “totally free space. In three dimensions as it were”. He begins searching the length of the city, with its hundreds of levels of buildings, for somewhere big enough to fly. Others discount his quest as crazy; “free space, isn’t that a contradiction in terms? Space is a dollar in cubic feet,” his friend remarked. This city, he discovers is trapped behind a wall, either mythical or real, and inside the experience of the city is that space comes before humans. Development has closed down free space.
Architecture can open up space in its design and attitude but over development of any city has the potential of closing down space, and with that its possibilities. In contrast to this Conquested works within the gaps and possibilities we have been presented with following the collapse of the property market and development in Dublin city. How we use and experience the city is closely considered. Our identity, memories and the development of our self-locator is within the veins of the city-we have a relationship with its possibilities and its failings.
Conquested is set across three sites in Dublin, Temple Bar Gallery and Studios, and The Paper Store warehouse and Spencer Dock. The gallery can be seen as a programmed, contained and established building and the warehouse, sited within a constantly developing docklands, with no fixed future, represents expanse and possibility while Unit 3 in the newly developed Spencer Dock area reflects change.
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