Museum Loans - Landskrona Museum, Sweden

The Hyman Collection is delighted to me lending works by Paul Seawright from his celebrated Sectarian Murders series to the following:

View Ireland 
Landskrona Museum, Sweden 
Landskrona Foto View, Ireland 
30 June - 25 September 2016 


Red-haired children play at the foot of green rolling hills. An old man with a scarred face enjoys a beer in his favourite pub. The locals desperately throw stones at British soldiers in one of Belfast's poorest districts... In the last two summers, Landskrona Foto has presented the photography and photographers of another country. The series started with Turkey, followed by the Czech Republic, and now in 2016 it is Ireland's turn - not just the Republic of Ireland but the whole island, including Northern Ireland. 

In this exhibition of photographic history we relate to the visual cliché of Ireland. The image that has stuck on picturesque postcards and in newspaper features, and probably also in many people's minds. How have Irish photographers actually viewed their homeland through history, and how do they view their own country today?

As far as we know, there is no photographic documentation of one of the greatest disasters the country has experienced. When The Great Famine broke out in 1845, the camera had been known in Ireland for several years, but no one photographed the great famine. A decade later, however, when the county was still suffering the after-effects of the famine, photography was established in a completely different sphere. In the shelter of The Big Houses, upper-class ladies frequently used the new technique. Over a hundred years later the newspapers were filled with ink from a different trauma. Northern Ireland in the time of the troubles has been depicted by many people, but the media narratives about it have often looked very different. We find a more personal narrative in Patrick McCoy's series The People's Taxis (1998). Here we see very close-up portraits of passengers travelling in the black taxis on the Falls Road. The claustrophobic back seat becomes a reflection of the social strains of life in the midst of the conflict.

In contrast to the depiction of violence there is the idea of Ireland as a fairytale country, the tourist's dream of The Emerald Isle. In the collage series Irelantis (1990s) the photographer Sean Hillen smashes this illusion of a picturesque Ireland. In his postcard-size works we see a completely different, complex landscape.

Another idea has been explored by the contemporary photographer Jan McCullough in her latest project. In Home Instruction Manual (2014-2015) she searches for an identity in a way that has not previously been attempted: I typed how to make a home into Google, and was directed to an online chat forum in which self-described experts were exchanging detailed instructions. I rented an ordinary suburban house and carried out the strangers' advice exactly over the period of two months. During the process of creating the perfect home, McCullough pondered on how a personality is formed. She documents the final result of her time living and working in the house, a place where she tested different ways of living.

The exhibition also presents works by: Mary Countess of Rosse, Lady Louisa Tenison, Dennis Dinneen, Paul Seawright, Anthony Haughey, Trish Morrissey, Eamonn Doyle, Grace Weir, Laurence McKeown, Arthur Fields, Patrick Hogan Broomberg & Chanarin, Bertien van Manen and others...

The exhibition is being produced in collaboration with PhotoIreland, Belfast Exposed, Gallery of Photography Ireland and Culture Ireland.

The curator of the exhibition is Jenny Lindhe in cooperation with Ángel Luis González, Trish Lambe, Tanya Kiang and Ciara Hickey.

June 30, 2016
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