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"Hibernia of the New Millennium: Work of Over Fifteen Irish Artists from Ireland and California"
2004-04-16 until 2004-05-15
Lola Gallery
San Francisco, CA, USA United States of America

This exhibition hopes to develop a better understanding of contemporary Irish art in California and demonstrate how it reflects upon Irish identity of the 21st Century. Hibernia of the New Millennium is organized by The Lola Gallery and officially sponsored by the Department of Arts, Sports and Tourism in Ireland. "Far too often, the notion of Old Ireland’ is a stereotype that dominates Irish American culture", says director Claire McGovern. "This is carried over into an understanding of Irish art and does not take into account the remarkable changes that have occurred in Ireland in the past two decades. Very few successful artists today operate within the confines of a traditional Irish identity code and we hope to represent that fact with this exhibition".

Hibernia of the New Millennium investigates Irish identity in the 21st Century through the exhibition of artwork by Irish artists based in Ireland and California. It poses the question can fixed borders and regimented definitions of what it means to be Irish be imposed upon a culture that has seen one of the greatest diasporas of its people across the globe? Rosie O’Gorman’s installation "Untitled-Read" involving multiple drawings of the map of Ireland could be construed as an excellent metaphor for this displacement and generational evolution of Irish emigrants. Each free hand drawing, more and more removed from the original, suffers an increasing mutation until the final result is a map that barely resembles Ireland at all. Also on exhibit is a video documentary by Pierre Merkl on the last days of Mc Carthy’s Irish pub on Mission Street. Merkl offers an intriguing perspective into the lives of those who frequented a bar that became popular in the 1950’s - when the Mission district was predominantly Irish.

The Lola Gallery is an Irish owned business and was founded in 2002 to provide an exhibition space for emerging contemporary artists and designers. The Gallery offers rental or purchase of artwork and furniture in addition to art consultancy and interior design services.

Caroline McCarthy
Escape, 2002
timber, assorted household objects
covered with leopard skin pattern,
installation view at Gasworks, London

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