12 September – 24 October
In an Irish context, the phrase Less Stress More Success evokes an immediate, and dreaded, memory of stacked study aids for the State Examinations. These publications were designed to condense and organise information with a purpose to make “those study hours really pay!” A shortcut to success, assuring the most productivity in the least stressful manner. On leaving school and entering working life, this mantra for achievement seems to be quickly abandoned.
Now, more so than ever, it is evident that the profession of the artist in a capitalist society is maintained by stress success. The artist becomes a hyper worker, surviving on a rotation of grant applications and pressing deadlines that often dominate over artistic practice. This gig-based employment equates to periods of high productivity and unpredictability in work. The result sees the boundaries between life and work blurred and collapse into senselessness multi-tasking. This unsustainable approach leaves an art community anxious, exhausted and envious.
This exhibition invites reflection on the concept of stress success. Curator Rachel Botha invites artists Eimear Murphy, Laura Fitzgerald and Saidhbhín Gibson to interpret stress success from varied perspectives.
This exhibition raises questions concerning our strive to achieve, its conditions and impact, both as artists and humans. What does the concept of success mean? How is success achieved? Must the journey to success be stressful?
L̶e̶s̶s̶ Stress M̶o̶r̶e̶ Success is the first exhibition of the Kilkenny County Council Arts Office’s ‘Emerging Curator in Residence Programme 2020’. This programme has enabled Rachel Botha to gain direct experience in the field of curating exhibitions for the Arts Office Gallery at 5 Dean Street, Kilkenny. This opportunity provides Rachel with the platform to further develop her career, expand her artistic networks and avail of a mentoring programme with curator Eamonn Maxwell.
It is paramount that the gallery ensures all staff and visitors are safe, we ask everyone to please wear a mask and sanitise your hands when entering the gallery. The number of visitors in the gallery will be limited to two and queuing will be required during busy periods, we ask visitors to observe social distancing of two metres both outside and inside the gallery.