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Janaina Tschäpe at the Irish Museum of Modern Art

The first solo exhibition in Ireland by the exciting German/Brazilian artist Janaina Tschäpe opens to the public at the Irish Museum of Modern Art on Wednesday 25 June 2008. Janaina Tschäpe: Chimera is structured around the genetics of the fabled beast, to create a very specific atmosphere. Comprising some 20 works, the exhibition focuses mainly on Tschäpe’s recent paintings that embody a sense of the extraordinary through colourful botanical notations. Displayed and intertwined amongst these paintings are her film and photographic works.

Chimera stands for a fusion of multiple identities in a single body or creature. In her interview from the exhibition catalogue with Rachael Thomas, Head of Exhibitions at IMMA, Tschäpe describes the relationship between the Chimera and her work: “What makes the Chimera a fearful monster isn’t any of [its] traits in particular, but the fact that they are all combined in a single being. It is this notion of the Chimera that applies to the way I structure the process of my work. Whether I’m making videos, photographs or paintings, the process is similarly multifaceted to the point that it departs from being a work strategy to become the reason for the work to exist. When I am immersed in this sort of media amalgamation I am allowed to lose control and be free”.

In this exhibition Tschäpe creates an environment of dream and fantasy, where the everyday world metamorphoses into a mythical place, populated by fabricated creatures and florescent vegetation. The four screen video installation, Blood, Sea (2004), is a mesmerising example of Tschäpe’s fantasy worlds. Its narrative plays with the evolutionary biology of sirens and mermaids, from fables such as the water sprites of Irish lore to the Brazilian Iemanjá - spirit of the seas, lakes and fertility - from the Candomblé religion. In this work Tschäpe plays creator to magnificent and fantastical creatures and environments.

The fertile worlds found in Blood, Sea and the photographic series Botanica (2004-05) are juxtaposed with the simplicity of an earlier series spanning over a number of years. 100 Little Deaths (1996-2002) explores danger and the horror for an artist of a failure of ideas. This exhibition is a unique opportunity to discover Tschäpe's contemplative and melancholic, yet surreal, practice.

Janaina Tschäpe was born in Munich, Germany, in 1973, but spent a great deal of her childhood in São Paulo, Brazil, her mother’s hometown. In 1992 she moved to Hamburg and attended the Hochschule für bildende Künste where she received her degree in Fine Art. Tschäpe has exhibited extensively in numerous solo and group exhibitions. Her most recent solo shows include Galerie Xippas, Athens, 2007; Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, 2007; Contemporary Museum of Art, St Louis, 2006; Galeria Fortes Vilaça, São Paulo, 2006; Paço das Artes, São Paulo, 2006, and Tokyo Wonder Site (TWS), Tokyo, 2006. She currently lives and works in New York.

The exhibition is curated by Rachael Thomas, Senior Curator: Head of Exhibitions, IMMA.

Artist’s Talk
On Tuesday 24 June at 4.00pm Janaina Tschäpe will discuss her work in the Lecture Room at IMMA. Admission is free, but booking is essential on tel: + 353 1 6129948 or email:

A fully-illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition with texts by Rachael Thomas, Brazilian artist Vik Muniz, curator Angela Kingston and writer/curator Germano Celant. A discussion between the artist and curator is also included.

The exhibition continues until 28 September 2008.

Opening hours:
Tuesday to Saturday: 10.00am - 5.30pm
except Wednesday: 10.30am - 5.30pm
Sundays and Bank Holidays: 12 noon - 5.30pm
Late opening on Thursday evenings until 8.00pm from 5 June – 18 September
Mondays: Closed
For further information and images please contact Monica Cullinane or Patrice Molloy at Tel: +353 1 612 9900; Email:

18 June 2008


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