Bite the Hand That Feeds You | Group Show at PhotoIreland Festival 2021

Bite the Hand That Feeds You | Group Show at PhotoIreland Festival 2021


05/06/2021 - 02/08/2021    
9:30 am - 5:30 pm


Rathfarnham Castle
Rathfarnham, Dublin, Dublin 14

Event Type

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Running 5 July-2 August
At Rathfarnham Castle 153 Rathfarnham Rd, Rathfarnham, D14 F439, Dublin
Opening Hours Mon-Sun 9:30am-5:30pm
Artists Alan Phelan, Dániel Szalai, Gê Viana, Hans van der Meer, Hertta Kiiski, Ksenia Yurkova, and Sheng-Wen Lo

There is power in how we feed ourselves, with food being the cornerstone of cultures, ideologies, and principles. Eating or not eating can be an act of protest, feeding or not feeding — an act of control; food brings people together and pushes them apart. Through the presentation of current work and commissions, this year PhotoIreland Festival brings to audiences selected artists exploring this contentious, yet every day, topic.

With topics ranging from sustainability to colonisation, from hunger to overconsumption, trauma to technology, ethics to ideologies, and even surveillance capitalism, this exhibition brings together contemporary lens-based works, serving a cornucopia of engaging and relevant material.

Delving into the recent past, Irish artist Alan Phelan creates a new suite of his acclaimed Joly screen photographs to recount recent memories of imperial and colonial working conditions through the stories of global fruit production controversies. 

It is difficult to address the topic of food without addressing the complexity of the animal-human relationship. The humble cow appears to play the protagonist in this exhibition, appearing in the works of Dutch photographer Hans van der Meer who investigates the world of the Dutch dairy cow, thinking about the future of modern farming and its impact on production and the environment. Meanwhile, Dániel Szalai’s latest project renders cows and their environment using photogrammetry, reflecting on surveillance and the influence of technology on our relationship to nature. Also utilising technology to analyse human-animal relationships, Dutch-based artist Sheng-Wen Lo invites us to dive deeper to experience the consequences of overfishing through TUNA. After the launch of her commissioned work, Milky Way in Project Arts Centre, Hertta Kiiski joins the artists in Rathfarnham Castle, presenting the ethical dilemmas around human-animal relationships and proposing a more empathetic and ethical future. The younger members of the audience are invited to engage with Kiiski’s work through special guides, created and commissioned to Róisín White, which will be available at the venue.

Ksenia Yurkova speaks about hunger and overconsumption with her multimedia project, deconstructing familiar advertising aesthetics to propose conversations around bio- and necro- politics and control of bodies. Brazilian artist Gê Viana addresses colonisation and slavery, not only presenting the histories of exploitation of native labourers, but also performing acts of healing through her performative work, washing away the suffering that black bodies have endured in the represented cane fields.

Find out more about the PhotoIreland Festival 2021 programme at

[Image by Ksenia Yurkova from Spinebone Soup and Stuffed Rabbits]

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