Our scheduled Dissolving Histories: An Unreliable Presence panel discussion couldn’t take place in the gallery due to the current situation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. Luckily due to the wonders of technology, we were able to record the talk and bring it to you now, while still practicing all the social distancing protocols!
We were joined by co-curators Mary Cremin and Peter Richards and artists Liliane Puthod, Stuart Calvin and Michael Hanna to discuss the process of building the Dissolving Histories exhibition. It’s fascinating to hear the artists discuss the changing context of this exhibition, given our current global situation. The discussion provides a wonderful insight into the way this exhibition came about and also the thoughts behind the origins of the Dissolving Histories series (of which this is the third annual instalment).
We’re very happy too introduce the newest member of the GTG team, Chiara Matteucci! Joining us for three months on the excellent Erasmus scheme for third-level students, Chiara has been in Belfast for a few weeks now, getting to know the city. She is a graduate of DAMS (the famous degree course founded by Umberto Eco) and holds a Master’s in Contemporary Art from the University of Bologna. On her first visit to us here in the GTG, she attended the launch of the Dissolving Histories exhibition, and has written this wonderful review of the show:
“Dissolving Histories: An Unreliable Presence is the new exhibition of the Golden Thread Gallery which opened on Saturday 15th February. It was my third day in Belfast when I came to the opening and, believe or not, it was raining! I’d never seen the gallery before that day and my first impression was that the place was warm (probably because I was still wet from the rain), friendly and huge. The two wide corridors with soft lights and the way the artworks have been displayed created a suggestive atmosphere that capture the attention and immerse the spectator in undefined time/space.
The aim of the exhibition is
to reflect about the notion of History itself, and the final result is a
cohesive space within which different realities and thoughts take place. The
four artists involved investigate the concept of History with different media,
trying to give their own definition of the notion, inevitably related to their specific
Greeting you at the entrance of the exhibition is the video
Dissolving beyond the worm moon by Bassam Al Sabah. The war that has
afflicted all the ages is shown through a juvenile eye, like a Japanese Anime
series, broadcast in Arab world since the 80s. This surreal work, constantly
playing between reality and fantasy, naturally coexists with the ancestral
sculpture made by Stuart Calvin, which reflects on the contrary on the eternal
necessity of the human being to believe in something transcendent, capable of
resolving problems above human’s powers. The way to invoke this unreliable
presence is the upside-down sculpture Calvin created that seems, by the way, an
Even the artworks of Liliane Puthod look like some archaeological
elements but from a different era: all of them allude to another presence of our
contemporary society, capitalism. In her works the notion of History becomes
real, tangible and near our age. These artworks indeed reflect society itself
in a conceptual way: using industrial materials (e.g. Cool Death) and
thinking about the act of consumption of products in our everyday lives.
The desire of collecting goods (in this case memories)
is present also in Michael Hanna’s video, which at a first sight could be
described as an obsessive and quite random collection of frame videos. Actually,
this work reflects about History throughout; a focus on the concept of Utopia suggested
moreover by the title chosen: Indoor sunlight.
This rain of images (the reference to Italo Calvino is a must!) is the last artwork of Dissolving Histories: An Unreliable Presence at the Golden Thread Gallery until the 25th of April.”
Co-curated by Mary Cremin and Peter Richards... Al Sabah, Puthod, Hanna and Calvin are individually interested in contemporary consumerism, materiality and futuristic landscape. The exhibition considers today’s lifestyle, informed by our consumption of material goods.