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Indepth Arts News:

"Ann Hamilton at hand"
2002-03-27 until 2002-07-14
Irish Museum of Modern Art
Dublin, , IE

This is the first showing in Ireland by this important American artist who represented the USA at the 1997 Venice Biennale and who has had major one-person shows at DIA and MoMA in New York and at Tate Liverpool. In 1993 she was awarded the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship Award.

The exhibition encompasses installation, video and photography, creating emotive spaces through a combination of sight, sound and touch and spanning her practice from the early 1980s to the present day. Hamilton’s works ritualise mundane gestures, imagining simple objects and actions on an enormous scale, resulting, in the creation of numerous elaborate and labour-intensive installations over the past decade. The exhibition, which is curated by Brenda McParland, includes the first ever European showing of the dramatic installation 'at hand', 2001, which comprises light leaves of paper floating endlessly down from the ceiling like snow to an accompanying sound piece.

The exhibition focuses on acts of speaking and hearing. Key to the show is the series of 4 video works - 'aleph', 1992/1993, 'dissections…they said it was an experiment', 1988/1993, 'linings', 1990/1993 and 'the capacity of absorption', 1988/1993. Each video displays a tightly-cropped image of the artist rolling pebbles in her mouth, allowing water to spill in or out of her mouth, onto her throat and into her ear. These simple isolated gestures, which seem to block hearing and speaking, are repeated to abstraction. Key photographic works include the face to face series from 2001 and the body object series from the early 1980s.

A new monograph on the artist, by Abrams publications, accompanies the exhibition.


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