Dublin Contemporary appoints new curators

Following the recent news of Rachael Thomas’ departure from the Dublin Contemporary project, news of new curatorial appointments has come from a press release distributed today:

New York-based curator and writer, Christian Viveros-Fauné, and Franco-Peruvian artist and curator, Jota Castro, have been appointed joint Lead Curators of Dublin Contemporary 2011, one of the most ambitious art exhibitions ever staged in Ireland. Dublin Contemporary will take place for eight weeks from September 6th to October 31st 2011 and will present the work of Irish-based artists, alongside leading artists from around the globe.
Viveros-Fauné and Castro are very ambitious for Dublin Contemporary and will be presenting the work of some renowned international artists alongside artworks by outstanding Irish artists. They will present a programme of exhibitions that relate to the theme of Terrible Beauty—Art, Crisis, Change & The Office of Non-Compliance. Taken from William Butler Yeats’s famous poem, “Easter, 1916”, the exhibition’s title was inspired by Yeats’s response to political events in Ireland and is intended to highlight art’s potential for commenting on current events in Irish life.

Sounds like it’s been given a complete overhaul, including the title (now in its third version, although I think including the phrase ‘the office of non-compliance’ weakens the theme). Both of the curators would be fairly unknown in these parts, although with very interesting CVs. The press release makes no mention however of the other ‘curatorial voices’ previously involved with the DC, including Oliver Dowling et al. The DC’s site is currently down with a note it will be relaunching today. The press release reiterates that a programme will be announced in March.

Culture Night 2008: this Friday!

Just a reminder to all you vultures out there– the third annual Culture Night takes place this Friday, September 19th, from 5-11 pm. In Dublin more than 100 arts & cultural organisations will be staying open late, offering unique & fun programming for this evening only. Temple Bar Cultural Trust is the driving force behind the initiative, which includes special bus routes (map pdf) laid on to take vultures from spot to spot, and lots of outdoor performances and entertainment.

It’s not just Dublin getting all the action either:

Culture Night Cork: http://www.corkcity.ie/culturenight
Culture Night Limerick: http://www.limerickcity.ie
Culture Night Galway: http://www.galwaycity.ie

Last year’s event had a great buzz to it– wandering around the National Gallery at near 11 pm was a surreal highlight for me!– and it’s a great chance to check out (for free!) sites that normally require admission. I’ve got a few circled already… 🙂

Copies of the programme can be downloaded as a pdf here, or picked up in print copy from participating venues, the Suffolk St Dublin tourist office, or Temple Bar Cultural Information Centre at 12 East Essex Street (the latter two will be open 9am until 11pm on Culture Night).

Checking into the Mountjoy Hilton


What’s next for the 19th century landmark Mountjoy Prison, now that it faces closure and the transferral of its inmates to a more modern facility? Heritage centre? Museum? Nope– the OPW has other plans in mind:

Mountjoy may provide jail break for tourists

The rooms might currently be a little on the small side – as are the windows – but Mountjoy could become one of the most exclusive places to stay in Dublin following a new proposal to turn the prison into a boutique hotel, writes Olivia Kelly .

Guests would be staying, at their own pleasure rather than the State’s, in the original late 19th-century institution, the main structure of which cannot be altered by order of the Office of Public Works (OPW), once the current residents move to the new prison due to open at Thornton Hall in north Dublin in 2011. (more…)