The object has engaged with art’s historical and contemporary encounter with destruction, as well as more philosophical explorations of iconoclasm. When we witness destruction in the field of culture, such as the recent destruction of Palmyra in Syria, some societal breakdown has inevitably occurred:
“News footage of museum looting in times of civic unrest and revolution, seem particularly powerful, functioning almost metonymically for the breakdown of civilized society as a whole into anarchy” (1)
Object Wars explores the rich history of object making, collecting and the place of the object in fine art today. Museum collections and the objects therein, are often seen as the vehicle of historic human narrative. Depicting scenes from World events, these objects often reduce the complexity of human suffering into a simplified mark or decoration. Through the contemporary art object, artists challenge the framing of history through cultural institutions, whilst acknowledging the delicate balance between the preciousness of the object and the precariousness of life.
“The sense of something irreplaceable at stake in each example is matched by the paradoxical way this reverence is reawakened by the sound of its own disintegration, whether we actually hear it or not.”(2)
1. Laura Grey ‘No Construction without destruction’: Ceramics, sculpture and iconoclasm. Art and Destruction, Jennifer Waldon (Ed)
2. Cornelia Parker, ‘Thirty Pieces of Silver’. Art and Destruction, Jennifer Waldon (Ed)
This exhibition is curated by ArtBox Director Hilary Murray. Tadhg McSweeney is represented by Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin. ArtBox is supported by Dublin City Council.