At The Gates of Silent Memory
Solo Exhibition by Clare Langan; curated by Eamonn Maxwell
A major exhibition of rarely seen photographs by one of Ireland’s most important artists.
Saturday 18th February– Thursday 20th April
Luan Gallery is pleased to present At The Gates of Silent Memory; a solo exhibition of photography by internationally acclaimed Irish artist Clare Langan, curated by Eamonn Maxwell.
Known for her expansive and award-winning film projects, which have been seen in galleries, museums, biennales, and film festivals across the world, Langan has a parallel photography practice using digital SLR and the unique Hasselblad XPan cameras. These images are taken in locations around the world including Dubai, Iceland, Kerry, and Monserrat reflecting Langan’s practice and environmental concerns. This exhibition will be a rare opportunity to see a significant body of Langan’s photography practice in a public gallery.
The exhibition will be launched by Mary McCarthy, Director of Crawford Gallery, on Saturday 18th February at 2:45pm. The official opening will be preceded by a conversation between the artist and Mary McCarthy which will take place at 2pm. All are welcome to attend. The exhibition will run from Saturday 18th February to Thursday 20th April 2023.
At The Gates of Silent Memory takes the threshold between worlds, climates, and reveries as its starting point and brings together a series of works never previously seen. These works have been shot over a number of years, interweaving with a number of Langan’s different projects. As climate change is sadly now part of our everyday lives, due to how we choose to live and exploit the earth, this exhibition amplifies how Langan’s work has dealt with these concerns for over 25 years. Whether dealing with the human figure or a particular landscape, or environment one thing that has linked all of this work are her concerns with the fragile nature of this earth that we live on and humanities tenuous and transient relationship to it. In a sensory and information overloaded world, Clare Langan’s poetic sensory approach to her subjects can perhaps quietly leave us with a vision of a planet going through a profound transformation, of a world that we thread gently on less it disappears into memory.
There are lots of aftermaths in these works – storms, volcanoes, and relationships – asking us the viewer to consider the circumstances that created the conditions for these photographs. We see people struggling to hold on in the wake of these losses, frozen embryonic-like in Pompeian stillness, or framed in stark isolation. In a way Langan is saying that in the end what is happening around us is both universal and deeply personal. Humans have acted as both the keepers and the destroyers of this planet and each other, but clearly, we are at a point of realisation where we need to rethink our beliefs – we are part of nature and not apart from it. Each of us experience loss. But there is also a beauty and poignancy in these images, and we have to spend time engaging with the poetic photographs to find our own Elizium. In the artist’s own words “we are but a moment here”.
A programme of accompanying events will take place during the exhibition including a curatorial talk with the artist, publication launch, reading groups and guided tours.
Admission to the gallery is free for groups and individuals. Tours for schools and groups can be arranged by contacting the gallery in advance on 090 6442154. Luan Gallery is open to the public Tuesday to Saturday from 11am – 5pm and Sundays from 12 – 5pm. All are welcome.
Keep up to date with the Westmeath Arts Office here.