TULCA Festival of Visual Art, and Galway 2020 in association with The Dock present THREADS
This year TULCA is marking its 18th year and has invited three alumni curators Sarah Searson, Gregory McCartney and Helen Carey to examine our challenging and irreplaceable world, working with Irish and European artists in Galway and other locations.
To mark this special occasion Galway based artist Austin Ivers presents a new body of work consisting of 'The World at War'. The exhibition includes new multi-screen video work, photography and installed objects along with a programme of screenings, readings and a publication to document these events. Ivers is an artist working in a variety of media, including video, photography and installation. He has exhibited extensively, with several solo shows in Ireland as well as participating in group exhibitions in 126 Galway, RHA Dublin, Belfast's Catalyst, and internationally at Graz, Kiev, Philadelphia, & Friedrichshafen. Ivers teaches at Galway Mayo IT and was a founding member of 126 Galway, an artist led gallery and art organisation.
In these works and through a series of associated events, Ivers considers the psychic effects and the embodied materials of the Cold War on popular culture. As an adolescent in the 1980’s and early 1990’s the world appeared to be teetering on collapse. Nihilistic popular culture, aided by world events, promised the end of everything. This was facilitated to no small degree by the emergence of domestic VHS technology. Much like contemporary parents are wary of the internet and the access (and understanding) their children have of it, Ivers' generation had video, “under the counter” tapes, “video nasties” and the world of cheap-to-license B-movies (as well as art classics) at their disposal.
“We were obviously in a demented frenzy as we had equal access to The Hills Have Eyes, THX 1138, Eraserhead , The Omega Man, Soylent Green, Zardoz, A Boy and His Dog, Logans Run, Damnation Alley, Dawn of the Dead, Alien, Blade Runner, Terminator, Brazil etc… and we were still asked to programme the video recorder, which was like magic to our parents.”
First was nuclear annihilation, preceded (or succeeded) by social collapse, terrible drawn out deaths, corporate take-over of government, theocracy and zombies, all with a Mad Max apocalyptic aesthetic. Much of the anxiety represented at the time was fuelled by rapid changes in cultures. Middle class fear of post-war values being rejected by the next generation, fear of the centre not holding, fear of The Bomb, the Right, the Left, The British Army and the IRA, strikes, of things breaking down, of chaos, especially well described in Terry Gillingham's film Time Bandits. Even the pop sensation Wham! rejected any work ethic and sense of responsibility: social collapse as an aesthetic.
Visual Arts Associated events:
Sat 28 March 2pm Exhibition Opening & talk with Austin Ivers, Louise Manifold and Jamie Cross
Sat 28 March 8pm Film Screening; Threads (Mick Jackson 1984)
Sat 9th May 6pm Performance with Elizabeth Hilliard
Sat 9th May 7pm: Reading: New writing commissions featuring, Pat McCabe, Cathy Sweeney, Ian Maleney and Joanne Laws in response to Threads. Followed by a film screening of The Quatermass (1979), four-part Tv series