9 May – 22 November 2015
Artist Sean Lynch represented Ireland at the 56th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia – with a new body of works entitled Adventure: Capital that traced a journey from myth to minimalism around Ireland and Britain. Combining sculptural, video and archival elements, Adventure: Capital was Lynch’s most ambitious project to date, bringing together Greek river gods, public art at regional airports, abandoned quarries, a field in Cork and a traffic roundabout, on a storytelling journey that explores notions of value and the flow of capital through an anthropological lens.
Ireland at Venice 2015 was located in the Arsenale section of the Biennale and opened to the public from 9 May – 22 November 2015. The Commissioner for Ireland’s Pavilion was Mike Fitzpatrick, Director of Limerick City of Culture 2014, Ireland and Head of School, Limerick School of Art and Design, LIT, Ireland. The Curator was Woodrow Kernohan, Director of EVA International – Ireland’s Biennial, Limerick City.
Sean Lynch’s research-based practice positions him somewhere between artist and storyteller. Similar to a historian or ethnographer, he reveals unwritten stories and forgotten histories, extracting alternative readings of place, events and artefacts through his works. Lynch’s projections, photographs and sculptural installations refer to a contemporary form of the Irish Bardic tradition; lost narratives of social and cultural heritage are revived and given new form through his artistic practice.
Peculiar subjects and events have been resurrected through Lynch’s artistic investigations, including Joseph Beuys’ visit to Ireland in 1974, Celtic Revival architecture and the mythical island of HyBrazil. Recent acclaimed projects have seen Lynch uncovering illicit carvings made by Irish stone-carvers, the O’Shea brothers, in Oxford; exploring socially conservative reactions to modern art in Ireland; working with the fast-food outlet on the site of the first museum in the uk, and locating repurposed remnants of the infamous DeLorean car factory at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.
Adventure: Capital has been made possible through additional support from partners including The Model, Sligo; Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin; Limerick City Gallery of Art; Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast; Ronchini Gallery, London; Limerick City and County Council Arts Office; Limerick National City of Culture; and Limerick School of Art and Design, LIT. Adventure: Capital will subsequently be presented as a touring exhibition throughout Ireland in 2016–17.