Reframing the ‘90s seeks to reassess the ways in which Irish art of the 1990s has been understood. Organised to coincide with Alice Maher’s exhibition of new work Vox Materia at the Crawford Art Gallery, Cork, we use this opportunity to look back at the emergence of a generation of practitioners that redefined Irish art. The 1990s saw an expansion of sculptural practice informed by international postmodernisms, the rise of installation art, a return to figuration influenced by feminism, and a revisitation of the natural world that had dominated Irish art up until that point. Diverging consciously from assessments that homogenise art North and South of the border, as well as within the Republic, this conference instead positions Irish art practice as heterogeneous and deeply connected to wider international aesthetic debates. We seek to establish a better sense of the variations within Irish art, the trends that have yet to be given concerted scholarly attention and to better understand the varied topography of the art world during the 1990s. We seek to establish a better sense of the variations within Irish art, the trends that have yet to be given concerted scholarly attention and to better understand the varied topography of the art world during the 1990s.
This conference aims to reconfigure dominant readings of Irish art history that privilege the monograph or survey. Following the scholarly ground established by criticism such as Fionna Barber’s important text Art in Ireland Since 1910, Peter Shortt’s extensive study on Rosc, and Aine Phillips’ discipline-defining Performance Art in Ireland, we seek to dedicate similar considered attention to the emergent practices of the 1990s. Key questions for this conference focus on: understanding this period historically, thinking through the influence of the political and social landscape of 1990s Ireland, considering the ways in which the international art world was both influential and increasingly accessible, and examining the role played by artists’ groups, collectives and networks within and without the island of Ireland. We also aim to consider those artists and artistic groups that have as yet not received significant critical attention including Pat Looby, Danny McCarthy, Pauline Cummins , to name a few.
Papers could consider any topic relating to this reassessment. Examples might include:
- Developments in Irish art during the 1990s
- Social and political histories and their influence on artistic practice.
- Artists groups, networks and collectives.
- Neglected and overlooked movements and practices.
- The influence of the Troubles and dialogues between North and South.
- Diasporic practices: connections between Ireland and elsewhere.
- The Biennialisation of the art world and its influence on Irish practice.
- Continuities and divergences from traditions established in Irish art: the landscape, the rural/urban divide, painting and painterly practice, reimagining important Irish art historical tendencies such as the Celtic Revival, social realism, religious imagery.
- The proliferation of unconventional materials or media; tactile, embodied, repellent, physical, corporeal and associated themes including animal nature, fetishism, female desire and sensuality.
Papers should be thirty minutes in length. Please send abstracts of 300 words in length and a short bio (50 words) to email@example.com on the 10 August 2018
This conference is organised by Pluck Projects – Sarah Kelleher (University College Cork) and Dr Rachel Warriner (City and Guilds of London Art School) – curators of Vox Materia by Alice Maher at the Source Arts Centre, Thurles (March 29 – May 5) and the Crawford Art Gallery (September 7 – November 17).