Exhibitions & Announcements

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  • ÉCU Firsts – European Independent Film Festival, Paris, March Easter weekend, 2013

  • Changing States: Contemporary Irish Art & Francis Bacon’s Studio, BOZAR, Brussels, Feb-May, 2013


    Fidèle à sa mission européenne, le Palais des Beaux-Arts accueille Changing States: Contemporary Irish Art & Francis Bacon’s Studio. La partie contemporaine met en valeur les réflexions et les innovations d’une génération d’artistes qui ont apporté une contribution significative à la pratique artistique depuis 2000. L’exposition souligne la vitalité des arts plastiques en Irlande, réunissant un groupe d’artistes éclairant les liens entre expériences locale et universelle. Changing States présente également une série d’objets et de documents en provenance de l’atelier de Francis Bacon. Né en Irlande, Bacon a été le témoin privilégié des changements politiques tumultueux qui ont agité le XXe siècle. Sa sensibilité et ses peintures ont été nourries par ces expériences violentes. Les documents de son atelier et dans lesquels il puisait son inspiration, restituent un portrait original de l’artiste. Des photos d’amis et d’amants, des livres consacrés à la médecine, la nature et le sport se mêlent aux classiques et aux monographies d’artistes ainsi qu’à des peintures inachevées. BOZAR a choisi de rendre hommage au génie de cet artiste et au talent de la génération de plasticiens irlandais qui l’ont suivi. read more

  • Cinesonika – Derry/Londonderry, Feb 2013

    CINESONIKA 3 is the The Third International Film and Video Festival of Sound Design , taking place in Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland, on February 2013.

    Cinesonika festival will showcase international works of film and video with fascinating soundtracks, idiosyncratic sound design, eclectic scoring and innovative approaches to the sound-image relationship.

  • Kevin Kavanagh Gallery screening, 4-5 Jan, 2013

    Alan Phelan | Include Me Out of the partisan manifesto | 2012

    single channel video projection
    11 minutes (with credits)
    Screening January 4th 2013 7pm

    Watch the video here.

    This a short film about a couple having an argument over the destruction and recycling of their DVD collection. The script was developed from a catalogue essay on Phelan’s work by Tony White who used notes given by the artist to constructed a parallel narrative about Phelan’s practice. The film’s seemingly ordinary narrative is complicated by an intense internal monologue which shifts the tension to address the cyclical nature of ideas and how process implicates content. While the characters could represent Phelan, the story is not so literal and it is more the process they engage in that makes the connection.The dialogue and voice-over is not so straight forward however as the narrative described above as the writer, Tony White, has a unique approach to writing fiction. He uses chunks of appropriated text derived from non-fictional sources, as he describes it “cutting-up, remixing and renarrativising fragments”. These included the Žižek notes plus chunks from a recycling website, an Indian site explaining papier-mâché, a text about motoring in the Balkans, and partial transcripts from the Slobodan Milosevic war crimes tribunal. read more

  • ‘Fragile Absolutes Part 3’ Alan Phelan Limerick City Gallery Pery Square, Limerick 12 October – 25 November 2012

    Limerick City Gallery of Art presents “Fragile Absolutes Part 3” by Alan Phelan
    Previewing Thursday, 11th October, the exhibition will run in Limerick City Art Gallery until 25th November, 2012. The exhibition will include the premier of two new films Include Me Out of the partisans manifesto and Speaking of Drives, Dialogue 3 as well as several other new works.

    Phelan has created a trilogy of exhibitions that contain elements of his broad-ranging reactions to Slavoj Žižek’s turn of the millennium book “The Fragile Absolute: Or, Why Is the Christian Legacy Worth Fighting For?” Phelan’s artworks within each exhibition have unfolded as alternative chapters to Žižek’s thoughts. The compelling narratives that run through the exhibitions present humanity’s desperation and insecurity through the twists and turns of a society seeking to redress the loss of some assumed equilibrium. In each, Phelan clearly indicates through a myriad of narratives that intersect with popular culture, revolutionary history, and the contradictions of contemporary revisionism. read more

  • BLIND PRIVATE PARTY, The Black Mariah, Triskel, Cork. Dec. 9, 2011 – Jan. 12, 2012

    Dec. 9, 2011 – Jan. 12, 2012

    Preview: Friday Dec. 8th 2011 at 7pm

    The Black Mariah, Triskel, Tobin Street, Cork

    Obviously this is not a party, it’s an exhibition. The show is a selection of videos, fabric pieces, and sculptures gathered from different projects and places made over the last few years. While there should not be any connection between the pieces they actually cohere. As with many recent exhibitions of his work, Phelan has combined contrasting works to re-narrativise them, using old and new pieces to chart out another story, in this case a party of objects, blinded by ego. read more

  • Seeing Things That Aren’t There / Sokea Yksityistilaisuus, Oksasenkatu, Helsinki, October 2011

    For this exhibition, Irish artist Alan Phelan will present several works that have been developed while on residency at HIAP over the past three months. Phelan works in a variety of media which include fabric, papier-mâché and video. The underground tunnels of Helsinki city formed the starting point for Phelan’s work here. These allowed him to develop his interest in “infrastructural aesthetic”, a concept that allows several parallel narratives to exist, linking the physical to the political to the societal to the individual. read more

  • Inverted Oil Rig ‘Dobby fin millen drill’ (Nightmare on Duck Street), May 29 2011

    Artist Name(s) Alan Phelan
    Artwork title Inverted Oil Rig ‘Dobby fin millen drill’ (Nightmare on Duck Street)
    Context/Background Commissioned by Dublin City Council as part of the development of Fr Collins Park, a new and sustainable green space in North Dublin, Alan Phelan’s sculpture is a development of a work originally made for the gallery in 2005. The design was taken from this work and so the resulting sculpture can read like a 3D drawing, as it is made from square metal profiles.  Unveiled in May 2011, Inverted Oil Rig ‘Dobby fin millen drill’ (Nightmare on Duck Street) was named with the help of local school children from St Francis of Assisi Primary School, Belmayne, Balgriffin. The work consists of a 7m tall upside down ‘oil rig’ placed in the Park’s lake.

    Oil Rig structure with fountains constructed of chromed steel, rubber and water pumps. The sculpture is 510 long x 570 wide x 700 high cm.


    Alan Phelan, born Dublin, 1968. Received BA, Dublin City University, 1989 and MFA, Rochester Institute of Technology, New York, 1994.

    Commission Type Local Authority
    Commissioner Name Ruairí Ó Cuív for Dublin City Council
    Commissioning process Competition
    Project commission dates January 1, 2010 – May 29, 2011
    Artform Visual Arts
    Funded By Dublin City Council
    Percent for art Yes
    Budget Range 35000 – 70000 euro
    Project commission start date 01/01/2010
    Project commission end date 29/05/2011
    Location Fr Collins Park, Clongriffin, Co Dublin
    County Dublin
    Town Clongriffin
    Street Address Hole in the Wall Road, Clongriffin, Co Dublin
    Google Map Insert View this projects location
    Public engagement

    Alan Phelan facilitated workshops with the children of St Francis of Assisi National School, Belmayne, in order to choose an alternative name for the work.

  • “Cabbages and Things”, Solstice Arts Centre, Navan, Friday 29 October – Saturday 27 November 2010

    Friday 29 October – Saturday 27 November 2010

    Cabbages and Things contains two works; paper Cabbages and fabric Things. Both works are made in many multiples, filling the galleries with newsprint cabbages and the piercing stare of superhero ‘The Thing’.

    The Cabbages were made in a series of fabrication workshops held in Dublin and Navan over the past two months, continuing Phelan’s interest in not only what art can mean, but the different ways it can be made.

    The Things, created by Phelan alone, use individual versions of the cartoon superhero from the net. No one Thing is the same, but all seem emasculated when cut in fabric remnants. Together both works reflect on the nations bleak present; a labyrinth of financial crisis headlines and hopeless heroes who can never save the day. read more

  • ALAN PHELAN: FRAGILE ABSOLUTES, IMMA, 22 Jul 2009–01 Nov 2009

    Fragile Absolutes presents 16 new and recent works inspired by Irish artist Alan Phelan’s ongoing engagement with political history, cultural theory, popular culture, masculinity and modified cars. The titles, subtitles and structure of the exhibition are derived from a project Phelan completed during his time on IMMA’s Artists’ Residency Programme in 2008. Taking the italicised words from the Slavoj Žižek book The Fragile Absolute – or, why is the Christian legacy worth fighting for? and using them as random word associations towards 15 ideas for works, now realised in a variety of materials and processes, from hand-carved marble, through to video and papier-mâché sculptures. The works in the exhibition traverse numerous sources and time periods, from current affairs, popular fiction, boy racers, nationalist heroes, world war, economics, psychoanalysis and globalisation. Phelan sets up a complex mix of the literal and metaphorical references, simultaneously providing background information on many of his subjects, yet leaving them open to conflicting modes of interpretation. read more

  • Ralph Eamon Odo Barbara, Mothers Tank Station 19 September – 27 October 2007

    19 september – 27 october 2007

    “Everything around me moves. Nothing is ever what it seems to be, everything is subject to constant metamorphosis, it all changes unexpectedly, and with lightening swiftness…” Guillaume Apollinaire

    It is if Apollinaire has found himself, unexpectedly, in the recreational quarters of Odo the shape-shifter from a particularly tangential TV episode of Deep Space Nine. Unlikely, yes, but no more so than the formal, spatial and temporal shifts of meaning that occur in Alan Phelan’s installation Ralph, Eamon, Odo, Barbara, at mother’s tankstation. Wherein Phelan synthesises Aristotolean acceptance of the ‘given’ with a Platonic readiness to hypothesize a different reality, a different realm. In simpler terms, Phelan simultaneously employs and subverts the ‘it does what it says on the tin’ approach to the world.  Whilst Phelan’s individual sculptures accord to expected taxinomic systems of naming (i.e. Barbara refers to Barabra Hepworth, Eamon stands for Eamon DeValera, Odo is the above mentioned slippery customer, ‘Odo’ – who only ever really manages approximate copies of things, and Ralph equals Ralph Gifford – who? – we will come back to him) and apply appropriate expected meaning, they also employ radical shifts of lateral logic. read more

  • Bio Bits, The Lab, December 09 – December 08 2006

    December 09 – December 08 2006

    The LAB is pleased to present the work of Alan Phelan. Over the past ten years Phelan’s practice has been concerned with a variety of approaches to biography which were brought together in the publication “Bio” in 2005. Much of this work has never been exhibited in Dublin. For this show a new configuration of selected works with be installed. The works will be attached to and located around a large scaffold tower in The LAB. This installation will contain sculpture, video, photography, works on paper from various projects from the last 11 years as well as incorporating new works. The installation will promblematise many of the specific narratives associated with the individual works as the works will have to function in a dynamic new context. read more

  • Fading Fast, Millennium Court Art Centre, Portadown, 28 September – 18 November 2006

    28 September – 18 November 2006

    Millennium Court Arts Centre is delighted to present ‘Fading Fast’ an exhibition of new work by internationally known Irish artist Alan Phelan. At the core of this exhibition are challenges to masculinity, identity, and perceptions of history. This is articulated through a base concept of ‘blending-in’ – a term that comes from a ‘stealth’ industry that seeks to modify or camouflage technology.

    For more information about this exhibition and work of Alan Phelan follow the link to the artist’s website read more

  • Small: The Object in Film, Video, and Slide Installation, Whitney Museum of American, 18 Nov 2004 – 6 Feb 2005

    Small: The Object in Film, Video, and Slide Installation is an exhibition of seven small-scale installations by John Baldessari, Matthew Higgs, Sol LeWitt, Jonathan Monk, Alan Phelan, Michael Snow, and Rirkrit Tiravanija. While much video art of the past decade has taken the form of large-scale installations and spectacular environments, this group of projections and monitor presentations made from the 1960s to the present explores the sculptural possibilities of film and video installation on a small scale. read more