Artists and Ethics
The afternoon session of the 2014 VAI / AICA presentation addresses the timely and contentious issue of ‘Artists and Ethics’.
AICA Ireland and VAI are delighted to announce that Elaine A King (Carnegie Mellon University, USA) a specialist in the field of art and ethics, will tackle arts ethical dilemma’s, in the company of artist Brian Maguire and the writers Gemma Tipton and Fionola Meredith. Artist Alan Phelan will chair this lively discussion.
Art and ethics is an ever-present hot topic. Recently, Manifesta 10 in St Petersburg, the Dubai and Qatar art fairs and the Sydney Biennale have been criticised in terms of their complacency in relation to, respectively: the oppression of human rights in Russia including the annexing of Crimea; the contemporary art world parading its glamorous and ‘radical’ shtick in repressive non-democratic states; drawing sponsorship from a company building and running off-shore internment camps for Australia’s illegal immigrants.
While artists might be critical and concerned with the plight of others, does the economy in which they operate – one of reputational capital – preclude them from judgment? Are artists themselves innocent from claims of exploitation and abuse? Does the perennial answer of ‘perspective’ bring with it a salve for social conscience? Does art bring its questioning presence as a form of interrogation that stands apart? Where does art start and ethics end?
Elaine A King is Professor of History of Art and Theory and Museum Studies in the College of Fine Arts, Carnegie Mellon University. She is a specialist in twentieth century American art and culture, as well as Central Europe and Puerto Rico. King was a Senior Research Fellow at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery in 2000 – 2001. In 2002, she received a short-term research fellowship for the National Portrait Gallery.
Alan Phelan studied at Dublin City University and Rochester Institute of Technology, New York. He has exhibited widely at home and internationally including IMMA, Dublin; Solstice Art Centre, Navan; The Crawford Art Gallery, Cork; Triskel, Cork; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; SKUC, Ljubljana; Feinkost, Berlin; SKC, Belgrade, as well as museums and galleries in Ireland. His practice involves the production of objects, participatory events and projects, writing and curating. These inform and contribute to an interest in the narrative potential surrounding an artwork, located in an inter-textual context. www.alanphelan.com His forthcoming exhibition is scheduled for May 2014 in Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast.
Writer Gemma Tipton is a regular contributor to the Irish Times, Artforum and RTE radio and television.
Fionola Meredith (PhD Scholastic Philosophy, Queen’s University) is a Belfast-based freelance writer and journalist who is a regular contributor to the Irish Times, the Belfast Telegraph, the Guardian and programming on BBC Northern Ireland.
Brian Maguire’s work essentially emerges from social and political situations and approaches painting as a gesture of solidarity. He operates a truly engaged practice, compelled by the raw realities of humanity’s violence against itself, and the potential for justice. Since 2010, his work has focused on the Mexican city Juarez, addressing the phenomenon of femicide – by working with the families and women affected, and by becoming ‘embedded’ with news photographers on the city’s newspaper El Norte. Maguire has shown consistently in Europe and the USA with participation in shows in Korea, China and Japan. In 2000, a major retrospective toured from Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane to Contemporary Art Museum, Houston USA. Brian Maguire is represented by the Kerlin Gallery, Dublin.
AICA Ireland is the Irish wing of the International Association of Art Critics. www.aica.ie
Events at Get Together 2014