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Ground-breaking artists, Irish film-maker Vivienne Dick and American photographer Nan Goldin, present major solo exhibitions alongside one another for the first time

 Opening Night: Thursday 15 June, 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Exhibition dates: 16 June – 15 October 2017

IMMA is delighted to present two major solo exhibitions 93% STARDUST by Vivienne Dick and Weekend Plans by Nan Goldin. Key figures within ‘No Wave’, a short-lived avant-garde scene in the late 70’s in New York led by a collective of musicians, filmmakers and artists, Dick and Goldin met during this time and became life-long friends whose work richly influenced each other.

Both exhibitions at IMMA will present new and unseen work. Vivienne Dick premieres her new film work Augenblick made while on IMMA’s Residency Programme in 2017 and Nan Goldin will exhibit a collection of evocative photographs from Ireland which have never been exhibited before.

IMMA’s Head of Exhibitions, Rachael Thomas, curator of both exhibitions said, “This is a historic exhibition bringing together two pioneering artists that have shaped photography and film in a raw and real sense. By showing Vivienne Dick and Nan Goldin alongside each other, not only are we acknowledging the friendship but we are celebrating artists that have defined our understanding of life”.

93% STARDUST (16 June – 15 October 2017) is a survey exhibition of Vivienne Dick’s work comprising selected films from the ‘No Wave’ period including Guérillère Talks (1978), Beauty Becomes The Beast (1979) and Liberty’s Booty (1980). Recent film works include The Irreducible Difference of the Other (2013) and Red Moon Rising (2015); and her new film work Augenblick (2017) shot in Iceland and in the buildings and grounds of IMMA.

Weekend Plans (16 June – 15 October 2017) presents pivotal works from Nan Goldin’s career which include her renowned slideshow The Ballad of Sexual Dependency (1985); several iconic photographic works including portraits of Vivienne Dick, friends and self-portraits; sixteen drawings which evoke the raw emotional atmosphere of her photographs; and a collection of unseen photographs from Ireland taken during her visits in 1979 and 2002.

About the Artists

Vivienne Dick is an internationally celebrated film-maker and artist. Dick has developed an extraordinary body of work which has been shown in cinemas, film festivals and art galleries around the world. Dick’s work is marked by an interest in urban street life, social and sexual politics, and the history of ideas. Dick and Goldin shared a period in New York where both began to make work which documented a short lived, highly creative moment in downtown New York. Many of the subjects of Nan Goldin’s photos appear in Dick’s films and they clearly were an influence on one another.

The exhibition presents early Super 8 works from late 1970s New York in a brightly coloured pop inspired lounge environment, while her more recent and new works are shown in a more classic darkened cinema space. Also included in the exhibition is a space to relax in-between viewings with reading material which inspired her new film, film stills, an antique sofa - a prop from her new film, and a short film starring her cat Ginnie shown on a portable DVD player. For Dick, the title of the exhibition 93% STARDUST, suggests that we are moving into a new age, following the age of Enlightenment, where man is no longer the centre of the universe.

Dick’s earliest work Guérillère Talks (1978) is a series of portraits of women, all of whom are associated with the No Wave music and art scene. The film features Beate Nilsen, Ikue Mori, Lydia Lunch, Pat Place, Adele Bertei, and Anya Philips. The work comprises seven rolls of Super-8 film and like other works made during that time was first shown in the clubs and bars between bands that Dick was friends with. In Guérillère Talks the filmmaker’s presence is felt through the expressive camera movements which contribute an energy and intensity to this exploration into identity, as the performers perform themselves. 

Also from this period, Liberty’s Booty (1980), is an investigation into prositution from a female perspective under a late capitalist economy. The film is also a document and a celebration of a New York subculture in the late seventies. With a dense mix of real testimonies, verité footage and acted out scenarios, this film examines power relations and the commodification of the body. The film  alludes to a growing globalisation with its reference to a McDonalds strike in Dublin and imagery of Pope Paul’s visit to Ireland in 1979 which in retrospect, is presented as marking a final attempt to halt the transformation of Irish society.

Recent works include The Irreducible Difference of the Other (2013) which examines a world orientated towards war, terror, and consumption with Franco-Irish actress Olwen Fouéré inhabiting two personas; the French playwright Antonin Artaud and Russian poet Anna Akhmatova. In referencing key historical moments, such as mass marches against  the Iraq war, the Arab Spring and recent anti-austerity protests, the film proclaims the desire for a more-balanced world, which might lead to a renewal of relationships on both a personal and global level. Also included is Red Moon Rising (2015) a celebration of the carnivalesque through dance, performance and the spoken word.

The title of Dick’s new work, Augenblick (2017), means a moment or blink of an eye - referring to our short time span on this planet. In the film, different realities, seemingly disconnected, flash by, from an imaginary virtual world to a frozen landscape. In a scene, which takes place in a formal garden, Jean Jacques Rousseau rants about man and his relationship to society. In another interior scene lit theatrically with shards of coloured light, three female actors of various ages declaim the story of our human beliefs from animism, to faith in a single male God, to humanism and finally, to our accelerated digital world. The lines quoted come from a variety of sources - Rumi, Harari, Clarice Lispector, Gramsci to Hildegard Von Bingen. In a third scene the same three women chat around a table their conversation is unscripted, balanced between performance, and unruly spontaneity. Moments of silence are interspersed with 18th century dance music played by The Spackling Band and a specially composed soundtrack by Jennifer Walshe and Panos Ghikas. The film ends as it begins with a slowly shifting shape, one moment attached to earth and next appearing to float in space. Is it organic, mineral, or virtual?

Nan Goldin is one of the most compelling and internationally renowned photographers working today. Goldin is known for her intensely personal, spontaneous, sexual, and transgressive photographs. Her deeply personal images of her family, friends, lovers, and of herself, convey highly intimate and sincere portrayals of marginal lifestyles and alternative sexualities. Goldin stated “I photograph directly from my life. These pictures come out of relationships, not observations”. In 1979 Goldin presented her first slideshow in a New York nightclub; her richly coloured, snapshot-like photographs were soon heralded as a ground-breaking contribution to fine art photography.

The Ballad of Sexual Dependency - the name she gave her ever-evolving slideshow - eventually grew into a forty-five minute multimedia presentation of more than 700 photographs, accompanied by a musical soundtrack. The work is a deeply personal narrative taken from Goldin’s own intimate life experiences throughout the late 1970s and ‘80s which include photos of the artist with her lover, her friends taking drugs, making love and partying, children of her friends, and photos of several of her friends who died from AIDS. “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency is the diary I let people read,” Goldin wrote. “The diary is my form of control over my life. It allows me to obsessively record every detail. It enables me to remember.”

Iconic photographs in the exhibition include portraits of family, friends and self-portraits. These include Nan and Brian on the Bed, Bowery (1983) which captures a moment of her intense interdependent relationship with her then boyfriend and a harrowing self-portrait Nan after being Battered, New York City (1984) taken a month after being battered by the same boyfriend.

Throughout this exhibition there is a particular focus on the role and expression of female relationships in Goldin’s work. Many of the photographs in this exhibition include images of Vivienne Dick, and show their enduring friendship. Taken over the course of three decades from the late 1970s to the early 2000s, the photographs were shot across various locations such as New York, New Hampshire, London, Dublin and Donegal. The beauty played out in works such as Vivienne in the green dress, New York City (1980) contrasts with isolated, evocative moments in rural Ireland as seen in Vivienne at her mother’s grave, Killybegs, Ireland (1979). Other familial relationships are glimpsed in photographs that feature Dick’s father, her brother and her young son Jesse.

A selection of these images form part of a series of unseen photographs from Ireland in which Goldin is showing at IMMA for the first time. Taken during her visits to Ireland with Vivienne Dick in 1979 and 2002 they include landscapes, seascapes, portraits of Vivienne and details of Irish life taken around Donegal, Galway and Dublin. For Irish audiences, some of the scenes carry an almost colloquial visual quality – there are images of sheep, cows, purple skies, mossy rocks and dark beaches. These are seemingly everyday views yet when shot from Goldin’s perspective, the images capture an ineffable, poignant specificity in the world – of a transcient connection – so lauded within the artist’s work. It is this tension of Goldin’s unique vision against the familiarity of the Irish landscape that renders these photographs so emotionally charged and visually compelling.

Weekend Plans also includes sixteen drawings by Goldin. Intimate in scale, these works have only recently begun to be exhibited despite being a close part of the artist’s reflective process for many years. Since childhood, the artist has kept a diary, often filling the pages with drawings. These drawings share the charged emotional atmosphere of her photographs, but they also capture a new expressive element with the layering of mediums and textures, handwritten notes and symbolic imagery.

A new Limited Edition has been produced by Nan Goldin, titled The Singing Pub, and is available to purchase at the IMMA Shop.

The exhibitions are presented as part of an exciting on-going initiative, New Art at IMMA, proudly supported by Matheson, which allows IMMA to continue to support artists’ vital work in a strand of programming that recognises and nurtures new and emerging talents, new thinking and new forms of exhibition-making.

-ENDS –

For more information and images please contact monica.cullinane@imma.ie  or press@imma.ie 01 612 9922.

Additional Notes for Editors

Vivienne Dick, 93% STARDUST and Nan Goldin, Weekend Plans, will be open in the West Wing at IMMA from 16 June to 15 October 2017. Admission is Free.

Associated Events

IMMA Talks & Public Programmes                                                                                                                     

Preview Talk: Rachael Thomas & Nan Goldin
Thursday 15 June 2017, 6.00 – 6.45pm / Johnston Suite
Marking the exhibition preview of Weekend Plans, Racheal Thomas, Head of Exhibitions, IMMA and renowned American artist and photographer Nan Goldin discuss her connections to Ireland, bringing to light the influence of individual relationships on Goldin’s work, including a 40 year friendship with Irish artist and film-maker Vivienne Dick, who is featured in several of Goldin’s photographic works. Weekend Plans is the first solo exhibition by Goldin to be presented in Ireland, programmed concurrently with the solo exhibition Vivienne Dick, 93% STARDUST. 
Book your ticket here.

Curators Lunchtime Talk Series: Drop In / Wednesday 12 July, 1.15-2pm
Meeting Point - IMMA Main Reception / No booking required

Join Karen Sweeney, Exhibitions, IMMA, for an insightful gallery talk exploring key themes and works presented in the exhibition Vivienne Dick, 93% STARDUST.

Curators Lunchtime Talk Series: Drop in / Friday 11 August, 1.15-2pm
Meeting Point - IMMA Main Reception / No booking required
Join Rachael Gilbourne, Exhibitions, IMMA, for a gallery talk exploring key themes and works presented in the exhibition Weekend Plans.

Lecture: New York No Wave Cinema / September 2017
Drawing of the work, friendships and creative circles that inspired artists Nan Goldin, Vivienne Dick and their contemporaries who pioneered New York’s No Wave cultural movement – this talk examines the social politics and cultural contexts of New York city of 1970s to mid-80’s, that became the melting pot for a subculture of artists, musician and film-makers to cross pollinate and establish a defining period in the history of film, art, and music.

Artist Conversation with Vivienne Dick / September 2017
Irish artist and film-maker Vivienne Dick discusses a selection of works presented at IMMA, exploring the locations, themes and characters that span Dick’s compelling film making practice of the last four decades. This talk gives a deeper understanding of artist’s unique approach to film that continues to evade distinctions of documentary, fiction, video art and music. 

Screenings & Talk: Irish Artists Experimental Film / October 2017
In conjunction with the current exhibition Vivienne Dick, 93% STARDUST, a one day screening series showcases a selection of Irish Artists’ Experimental Film. The programme highlights the development of experimental film making in Ireland, featuring films by contemporary artists who are working independently in non-commercial formats, whose work attempts to redefine the limits of cinema.

For full programme details and dates visit www.imma.ie

Artist Biographies

Vivienne Dick (b.1950)
Vivienne Dick was born in Donegal and began making Super 8 films while living in New York in the late seventies. These early films were shown extensively in that period throughout the USA and in Europe and they continue to be screened on a regular basis. Living in London in the eighties and nineties she worked mainly in 16mm and in video, receiving a number of awards from The British Arts Council and The Arts Council of Ireland. Since returning to live in Ireland she continues to make new work.

Retrospectives of her work include Seville European Film Festival (2016,) Tate Modern (2010), Crawford Art Gallery (2009), and Berlin Film Festival (1988). Group shows include Big as Life, MoMA, New York, The Whitney Biennial, Golden Thread Gallery and The Untold Want, RHA. Her work has shown at Oberhausen, Courtisane, BFI London, Lisbon Estoril, CPH:DOX Copenhagen and New York Film Festivals, amongst others. A DVD of three of her films was published by LUX and a collection was published by Crawford Art Gallery in collaboration with LUX in 2009. Dick has work is in the collections of MoMA, New York, Anthology Archives and the Irish Film Archives, and her films are distributed by LUX London and The Film Maker’s Cooperative, New York. 

Nan Goldin (b. 1953)
As a teenager in Boston in the 1960s, then in New York starting in the 1970s, Nan Goldin has taken intensely personal, spontaneous, sexual, and transgressive photographs of her family, friends, and lovers. In 1979 she presented her first slideshow in a New York nightclub, and her richly coloured, snapshot like photographs were soon heralded as a groundbreaking contribution to fine art photography. The Ballad of Sexual Dependency—the name she gave her ever-evolving show—eventually grew into a forty-five-minute multimedia presentation of more than 700 photographs, accompanied by a musical soundtrack.

Her work has been the subject of two major touring retrospectives: one organized in 1996 by the Whitney Museum of American Art and another, in 2001, by the Centre Pompidou, Paris, and Whitechapel Art Gallery, London. Recent exhibitions include the slide and video presentation Sisters, Saints & Sybils at La Chapelle de la Salpêtrière, Paris, contributions to the 40th Les Rencontres d'Arles in 2009, and Goldin's Scopophilia exhibition that was part of Patrice Chéreau's special 2011 program at the Louvre. Goldin was admitted to the French Legion of Honor in 2006 and received the Hasselblad Foundation International Award in 2007. In 2012 The Macdowell Colony awarded Goldin the Edward Macdowell Medal for her enduring vision and creativity. The original 35mm format slideshow installation of The Ballad of Sexual Dependency was recently presented at the Museum of Modern Art, on view until 16 April 2017. Goldin lives and works in Berlin and New York.

Irish Museum of Modern Art, Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, D08 FW31, Ireland
Tel: +353-1-6129900, Email:
info@imma.ie