press release

OPEN / INVITED e v + a 2008, Ireland's pre-eminent annual exhibition of contemporary art, opens to the public on March 7th in Limerick City. Selected by Hou Hanru the exhibition will present the work of 45 artists (28 OPEN and 17 INVITED) drawn from 17 countries of Continental Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas.

Too Early For Vacation A short introduction by Hou Hanru

Conventionally, Ireland has been seen as an exotic, idyllic and even somehow a spiritual destination for a vacation… Limerick, a “remote” city situated in the Mid-West of the country, is certainly one of the most desired places on the tourist map. For the last decade, this city and the surrounding region, like the whole country itself, have entered a process of renaissance, thanks to their embracing of new technologies and their integration into the global economy. But, few have imagined that this rather small city can be a vibrant site of production of contemporary art.

However, for the last three decades, Limerick has been holding the most significant contemporary art event in Ireland. Over the years, e v+ a has become a major and unique international exhibition. Yet as an event it has remained persistently rooted in the local context, at once modest, intimate, ambitious and generous as it constantly negotiates global influences including the new ideas, projects and energies that have been brought in by artists and curators from different parts of the world.

The fundamental change in the nature of contemporary art from quasi-underground, activist and avant-garde activities in the 1970s when e v+ a was founded to becoming a part of the late-Capitalist and consumerist cultural establishment has actually launched an intellectual, ethic and even political challenge to the art world itself. Then, what’s the real social significance of contemporary art today? How can a firmly grass-rooted event like e v+ a still make sense in the age of globalisation, dominated by certain established but limited models of production, representation and consumption, and yet continue, as well, to engage itself in the transformation of local reality?

In this context, coming to work for, visit and appreciate e v+ a today needs an even more intimate and active engagement with the local reality, both physical and cultural, both personal and social… Certainly it involves travels from different parts of the world and contacts with various forms of creation. However, it’s by no means merely a simple vacation to be spent in this beautiful town of Ireland – a vacation has a double implication: holidays and vacating (escaping) from reality. Instead, it must be actions of engagement… Pressing issues related to the transformation of today’s globe such as border crossing, migration, travel, exchange with the ‘other’, cultural and geopolitical confrontation and dialogue, etc. are obviously the issues that occupy the centre of this kind of local-based intervention.

Welcome to Limerick. But, it’s too early for vacation… or - it’ll never be a vacation.

e v+ a 2008 artists and venues

The 10 venues of OPEN / INVITED e v+ a 2008 were: Limerick City Gallery of Art, Belltable Arts Centre, Istabraq Hall at Limerick City Hall, The Hunt Museum, Cathedral Place - No. 1 Chapel Court, King John's Castle, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Merriman House (Murray ô Laoire Offices) on Lock Quay, Brooks Properties at 15 Henry Street and the ex Motor Tax Office on Lower Mallow Street.

1. Limerick City Gallery of Art Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla Chen Shaoxiong & Gimbongsok & Ozawa Tsuyoshi Martina Cleary Angela Darby & Robert Peters Latifa Echakhch Ailbhe Greaney Fiona Hackett Sarah Hurl Ian Kiaer Ruth LeGear Maeve McElligott Ozawa Tsuyoshi Adrian Paci Shahzia Sikander (also in St. Mary's Cathedral) Hague Yang 2. City Hall Chen Wenbo Allan de Souza Henna-Riikka Halonen Emma Houlihan Tricia McCarthy & Vertigo Smyth Terry Markey (also in ex-Motor Tax Office)

3. St. Mary’s Cathedral Shahzia Sikander (also in LCGA)

4. King John’s Castle Mark Clare Malachi Farrell Seamus Farrell

5. Belltable Arts Centre Alan Bulfin Common Culture James Gormley Dara McGrath 6. Cathedral Place (1 Chapel Court) Taro Shinoda

7. ex-Motor Tax Office (Lower Mallow Street) Aideen Doran Nina Höchtl Mairéad McClean Terry Markey (also in City Hall) Ni Haifeng (also in Hunt Museum) David O’Kane Yang Jeichang

8 Merriman House (Lock Quay) John Reardon

9. Brooks Properties - Lobby (15 Henry Street) James Hayes 10. The Hunt Museum Catherina Hearne Ni Haifeng (also in ex-Motor Tax Office)

only in german

e v+ a 2008
"Too Early For Vacation"
Kurator: Hou Hanru

Künstler: Allora & Calzadilla, Chen Shaoxiong & Gimhongsok & Tsuyoshi Ozawa, Martina Cleary, Angela Darby & Robert Peters, Latifa Echakhch, Ailbhe Greaney, Fiona Hackett, Sarah Hurl, Ian Kiaer, Ruth LeGear, Maeve McElligott, Ozawa Tsuyoshi, Adrian Paci, Shahzia Sikander, Haegue Yang, Chen Wenbo, Allan deSouza, Henna-Riikka Halonen, Emma Houlihan, Tricia McCarthy & Vertigo Smyth, Terry Markey, Shahzia Sikander, Mark Clare, Malachi Farrell, Seamus Farrell, Alan Bulfin, Common Culture , James Gormley, Dara McGrath, Taro Shinoda, Aideen Doran, Nina Höchtl, Mairead McClean, Terry Markey, Ni Haifeng, David O´Kane, Yang Jeichang, John Reardon, James Hayes, Catherina Hearne, Ni Haifeng