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Franz Ackermann at IMMA
The first solo exhibition in Ireland of the internationally acclaimed German artist Franz Ackermann opens to the public at the Irish Museum of Modern Art on Wednesday 20 July 2005. Franz Ackermann comprises a series of large brightly coloured paintings and installations which reflect the changing nature of today’s increasingly globalised society. Two of the works have been designed especially for the spaces at IMMA. The exhibition also includes smaller works on paper in which the artist has been creating since 1991, reproducing the cities and landscapes he visits in the form of a topographic memory.
Ackermann’s work derives from his wide-ranging travels from Tokyo, Manila, Hanoi and Bangkok to Rome and São Paolo. His experiences within this world are that of a tourist, rather than a traveller, and his work reflects this dizzying sensory overload. Ackermann’s large installation paintings depict urban dynamics in the form of organic energy centres via documentation, postcards and newspapers. His works read as a geographical metaphor for the ways in which travel and digital communication can be substituted for each other in a world which is becoming faster and easier to navigate every day. For this exhibition Ackermann explores the conflict between fears and freedoms inherent in 21st-century travel and tourism and what precisely it means to participate in the global tourist economy.
In Travelantitravel, 2004, Ackermann explores the dialogue between tourism-terrorism and the emotions associated with theses issues. Berlin is the subject of this work, where Ackermann is resident and returns to from his travels. There is a violent beauty to this work as we see the imposing prominent steel cages which house most of the paintings. A steel and glass structure reminiscent of an interrogation area adds a sense of surveillance to the installation, which could allude to Berlin’s past and present histories. Guns, a sleeping bag and structural carnage are also included in the installation and are hung in a way that forces us to confront the relationship between violence, mobility and tourism. A prominent theme in Ackermann’s work is how easily travel can be disrupted, in the work we see a network of passages blocked by iron railings. These architectural forms suggest the numerous physical, social, political, economic and ethnic upheavals that have characterized urban centres over the past decade.
Franz Ackermann has exhibited internationally including Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York; the Castello di Rivoli, Turin; White Cube, London; Portikus, Frankfurt and the Galerie neugerriemschneider, Berlin. Recent group shows have included the São Paulo Biennial, 2002, Casino at SMAK, Gent, 2002, and Painting at the Edge of the World, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 2001.
Panel Discussion: The Condition of Painting: Franz Ackermann and Contemporary Painting
The exhibition is curated by Rachael Thomas, Senior Curator: Head of Exhibitions, IMMA.
The exhibition is supported by the Goethe Institute, Dublin.
Franz Ackermann continues until 23 October 2005.
Admission is free.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday 10.00am - 5.30pm
For further information and images please contact Monica Cullinane or Patrice Molloy at Tel: +353 1 612 9900; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
14 July 2005
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