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Exhibitions > Past Exhibitions

Grace Weir, 3 Different Nights, recurring

7 November 2015 – 28 March 2016

Grace Weir, Dark Room (film still), 2015, HD video, 7'30", Courtesy of the artist

"Weir’s recent output is staggeringly good and the exhibition, to its credit, recognizes this. It avoids the evenly paced retrospective as curatorial form and instead foregrounds a body of works alive in the present. Weir’s time is now." - Frieze

"...a thought-provoking show that brilliantly balances scientific and philosophical rigor with aesthetic grace."- artforum

IMMA presents the first Museum exhibition by one of Ireland’s most compelling and respected artists Grace Weir. 3 Different Nights, recurring is the largest exhibition of Grace Weir’s work to date, comprising some 30 works including three major new film commissions, A Reflection on Light, Black Square and Dark Room, and two new series of paper works, The history of light (Betelgeuse) and Future Perfect. These new pieces are presented with complementary works that together span over 20 years of Weir’s creative output.

Working primarily in the moving image and installation, Weir is concerned with aligning conceptual knowledge and theory with a lived experience of the world. She probes the very concept of a fixed identity and her unique approach to research is based on a series of open conversations and experiments with scientists, philosophers and practitioners from other disciplines.

Interested in those moments in time before definition occurs, Weir's works in the exhibition also explore the dynamic of practice and representation. For Weir meaning becomes tangible through activity and the works make reference to both the act of making and the mediums in which they are made, including where time itself forms the work. The exhibition title 3 different nights, recurring references a note made on a Whirlpool galaxy drawing by William Parson’s in mid 1840s. Pre-dating photography, the drawing was repeated over three nights as a form of proof of his discovery of the spiral nature of galaxies.

Presented as an activated project 3 Different Nights, recurring will develop while at IMMA. The research informing the new work will be developed and made evident with a series of performative lectures and experiments, connecting the audience with the scientific explorations and collaborations that underpin Weir’s work.

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

New Films

Three film works receive their premiere in IMMA during this exhibition. A Reflection of Light travels across different locations and histories that surround the hanging of a painting by Mainie Jellett titled ‘Let there be Light’ in the School of Physics in Trinity College Dublin. Having studied under the founder or cubism Albert Gleizes Jellett became one of the key Irish Modernist painters. Her grandfather and uncle were both physicists, the latter stating the Lorentz-FitzGerald Postulate which was a major step towards Einstein’s Theory of Relativity in 1905. Filmed in Mainie’s former house on Fitzwilliam Square, the New Galleries at IMMA and a number of spaces in Trinity College Dublin, the film weaves together events from across time that have brought the painting to this particular location, traversing different fields and disciplines to present a wider context to the concerns of the painting.

The film Black Square explores the making of an image of the black hole that lies in the exact centre of the Milky Way Galaxy. Black in a black sky, these holes are one of the last unknowns in physics. Documenting the film crew as they journey across the Atacama Desert in Chile to the Very Large Telescope at the top of Cerro Paranal, where the astronomy team are at work, the film travels to the edge of comprehension, reaching the limits of our ability to both understand and to represent something. Black Square explores the dynamic between what can be understood and what cannot, a mobile threshold where intuition meets calculation, and the limitations of representation in such a place.

The third new film work; Dark Room, was filmed in both Mary Rosse’s original darkroom in Birr Castle which had lain untouched within the Castle from the middle of the nineteenth century and in the reconstruction of this darkroom in the Science Centre in the Castle’s grounds where the entire contents have been moved and reconstructed by conservators. Mary Rosse was a pioneer in photography in Ireland in the 1850s. The two different films, one filmed in the original space and the reconstructed version in the reconstructed space, are shown side by side forming an ambiguous entity whose lucidity comes in and out of clarity. Dark Room oscillates between the harmony and dissonance of memory and its mediation through photography.

About the Artist

Grace Weir represented Ireland at the 49th International Venice Biennale and has exhibited widely nationally and internationally. She is currently Artist-in-Residence in the School Of Physics, Trinity College Dublin. As part of the IMMA Collection her film work Dust Defying Gravity, 2003, has been shown since its purchase in 2004 in many group exhibitions and beyond IMMA in venues across the country.

Working primarily in the moving image, Grace Weir makes a critical appraisal of film through film-making, in a practice that fuses documentation with highly authored situations. Weir probes the nature of a fixed identity and these questions are underpinned by the theories under her scrutiny, whether it is relativity, intentionality, film theory, the duality of light or the philosophy of time and history. She is interested in issues that are not unspecified because something is missing but because of their nature and content. Weir is interested in the slippages between the conceptual and experiential in different fields of enquiry. She examines how the imperfect world of direct experience plays a role in our understanding of theoretical concepts. Researching facts not as self evident objects in the world but as processes, Weir takes a transdisciplinary approach in her research. The resulting work is wide ranging, from structural cinematic works to 'footnote' videos, web projects and installations.

Associated Publications

There will be an exclusive IMMA Edition by the artist and an extensive catalogue to accompany the exhibition with essays by Sam Thorne, Peter Brooke and Caoimhín Mac Giolla Leith  among others.
Please contact the IMMA Shop for more details.

Associated Talks and Events

Artists Discussion | Grace Weir
Saturday 7 November 2015
Grace Weir and Sam Thorne (Artistic Director, Tate St. Ives) discuss her new exhibition 3 Different Nights, recurring, comprising of new and existing works that span over 20 years of Weir’s creative output as well as her current projects as residency artist in the School Of Physics, Trinity College Dublin.
Listen here to this talk.

Lecture-Performance | A past still to come
Thursday 11 February 2016,
The Schrödinger Lecture Theatre, Trinity College Dublin 
Grace Weir, Dr Shane Bergin (physicist, TCD) and Dr Sean Enda Power, (philosopher, UCC) explored concepts of time and recurrence, the paradoxical nature of light and the making of a photograph in a lecture-performance, held in the lecture theatre where Erwin Schrödinger in 1943 gave a public series of lectures called What is Life?. The talk was presented in association with the School of Physics, TCD. To see documentation images of the event visit the album on our facebook page.

Critical Response | Francis McKee
Wednesday 2 March 2016
Francis McKee (Director of the Centre of Contemporary Art, Glasgow) reflects on how some of Grace Weir's most recent films continue to place the wonder of science in focus, and recaptures the magic and history of cinema and its synchronicity with evolving theories of time, quantum physics and the big bang. Mckee draws on his research interest in philosophy, science fiction, cinema and the role of archive in contemporary arts practice, to address underlining narratives of Weirs exhibition. Listen to this talk here

A reflection on light, presented by Grace Weir at Trinity College, Dublin.
Thursday 14 April, 6.30pm - 8pm, film screening, live music and exhibition opening
Friday 15 April, 11am - 4pm, film screening and exhibition
In association with Grace Weir's exhibition at IMMA, the artist presents a film screening of A reflection on light with a live musical accompaniment and a small exhibition at the Schrodinger theatre, Fitzgerald Building, The School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin. Weir's film A reflection of light, currently showing as part of her exhibition 3 Different Nights, recurring, is amongst the prize winners of the Trinity Creative Challenge.
The is a free event but booking is essential. Further details and tickets are available here

Exhibition Resources

Read the exhibition guide for 3 Different Nights, recurring

Listen to artist Grace Weir discuss her exhibition alongside Rachael Thomas, Head of Exhibitions, IMMA, and Victoria Evans, Assistant Curator, IMMA.

Read a review of the exhibition in Artforum's Critics' Picks.

Review in the April issue of Frieze Magazine.

Read a review from Aidan Dunne of The Irish Times.

Read a review in Le Cool

Media Release

Grace Weir website

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


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