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Indepth Arts News:

"Mark Manders: Parallel Occurrence"
2005-03-16 until 2005-05-29
Irish Museum of Modern Art
Dublin, , IE

An exhibition of eight works by the younger-generation Dutch artist Mark Manders opens to the public at the Irish Museum of Modern Art on Wednesday 16 March 2005. Mark Manders: Parallel Occurrence comprises sculptures, drawings and installations, several of which have been created specifically in response to the Museum’s historic location at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham. It includes one of Manders’ defining works Inhabited for a Survey, (First Floor Plan from Self Portrait of a Building), 1986, part of a fictional architectural plan, Self Portrait of a Building, which has had a central place in his work since he began his career as an artist at the age of eighteen.

Inhabited for a Survey presents the floor plan of a building, outlined on the gallery floor using pencils, crayons, markers and other materials. Part of a perpetually-changing, unrealised whole, which evolves further with each manifestation, the fictional building is designed to function as a portrait of a fictional persona, who shares the artist’s name and is described by him as neurotic and poetic in equal parts. Manders describes this alter ego as “a character that lives in a logically designed and constructed world, which consists of thoughts that are halted or congealed at their moment of greatest intensity. He is someone who disappears into his actions. He lives in a building that we continually abandon; the building is uninhabited”

This strange world is also populated by a number of other objects linked in a seemingly off-hand manner by their position in a particular space or their relationship to one another, In Cupboard with Newspapers, 2005, we see newspapers stacked in the alcoves of the gallery space, the title of the piece commandeering the gallery space itself as a element in the work. In Fox/Mouse/Belt, 1992, instead of the mouse having been eaten by the fox, as we might expect, it is strapped to its side, as they lie on the gallery floor united in death as in life. Both animals are frozen in the act of jumping, an action strangely at odds with death-like stillness of the piece.

The aim in all this is not to create a straightforward narrative description of an event, place or person, but rather to explore distinctions between nameable things and things we cannot name, between thoughts and objects. Manders states: “My work is an ode to the fictional, ‘as if’ way of thinking. I believe it’s important that people deal with fiction as if it were reality, while understanding that it’s fiction”.

Mark Manders was born in Volkel in the Netherlands in 1968 and began his career as an artist in 1986. He has had solo shows at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, in 2000; the Drawing Center, New York, in 2000, and the Staatliche Kunsthalle, Baden Baden in 1998, among others. He has participated in many group exhibitions, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 2002; Documenta 11, Kassel, Germany in 2002; Sonsbeck 9, Arnhem in 2001; the Venice Biennale in 1992 and 2001, and the São Paulo Biennial in 1999. He will also be showing at the Berkeley Art Museum, California later this year. He lives and works in Arnhem, the Netherlands.

Mark Manders: Parallel Occurance is curated by Rachael Thomas, Senior Curator: Head of Exhibitions at IMMA. It continues until 29 May 2005. Admission is free.

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