(Re)Public is a group exhibition featuring work by socially-engaged Irish visual artists, dancers, sound artists and filmmakers whose practices engage not only with the complexities of everyday life in Ireland but are also relevant to broader issues including those pertinent to Chicago and the south side. The show is co-organized with CREATE, the national development agency for collaborative arts in Ireland, and supported by Culture Ireland as part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary programme to mark the 1916 Easter Rising. At this significant time of commemoration and self-reflection in Ireland, these artists’ practices engage in profound ways with different publics in exploring pressing social, political and environmental issues current in 21st century Ireland. Each of these artists will undertake a week long residency during the run of the exhibition when they will engage with Chicago-based artists and various community and activist groups. Hyde Park Art Center’s connection with Create originated from Ailbhe Murphy and Ciaran Smyth of Vagabond Review’s participation in the Jackman Goldwasser Residency Program in 2015.
In the context of 2016, (Re)Public celebrates the self-determination and agency of the country while tackling contemporary issues in Ireland which have broader resonance globally, these include: – hidden histories of state institutional abuse (Nolan) community identity in post conflict rural border regions (North 55), issues relating to natural cycles in time, climate change and its global effects (Softday), the individual’s struggle for autonomy within the field of mental health (Tighe), the importance of creative autonomy and independence for the right to self-expression in movement and dance (Donnellan) and strategies of resistance that include artistic intervention, self-organization, and collectivism (Morley). The seven exhibiting artists will travel to Chicago and through the auspices of the Art Center, will meet key Chicago-based organizations and artists to encourage further collaboration, exchange and joint projects.
Culture Ireland’s international culture programme entitled I Am Ireland is part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme. I Am Ireland enables Irish artists and companies to present their work across the globe. The programme, a key element of the Ireland 2016 Global and Diaspora strand, is one of celebration through contemporary arts while also reflecting on Ireland’s cultural journey over the last one hundred years. I Am Ireland marks the centrality of the arts to Irish identity, and acknowledges the key role artists play now, as they did in the 1916 Rising.
This is the first time Hyde Park Art Center and CREATE have collaborated on a major arts initiative. Both organizations have significant presence in the cultural ecology of radical art practices in their respective countries.