press release

IMMA presents one of its most ambitious and compelling exhibitions exploring desire in our everyday lives. In particular, Desire: A Revision from the 20th Century to the Digital Ageconsiders desire’s relationship to structures of power, individualism and emerging collective actions.

Spanning over a hundred years, the exhibition follows the development of desire through the lens of the Eurocentric male gaze and its influence in shaping artistic depictions in contemporary culture—across the world. A selection of masterworks from the 20th century—from artists such as Duchamp, Ernst and Magritte, sit alongside new commissions and contemporary work—by artists including Matthew Barney, Tracey Emin, Genieve Figgis and Yayoi Kusama, tracing desire from the historical canon to present-day digital transformations. Desire: A Revision resists becoming a comprehensive survey that traces the role of art and desire. Instead, it presents perspectives from a range of unique viewpoints in over 100 works, many of which have never been seen in Ireland before. It extends beyond the gallery space with newly commissioned performances by Eddie Peake and Elaine Hoey—alongside a programme of events and talks taking place during the exhibition.

The exhibition is divided into seven pivotal moments. These seven moments act as a conceptual framework from which to unpack the complexities of the following: desire and intimacy, the desire to integrate, desire and the gaze, the politics of desire, technology, and transformations of desire, and finally, an exploration of the evolution of utopianism in desire.

Desire: A Revision is the third in a trilogy of major international group exhibitions devised by IMMA to explore universal themes and their representation through art from the 20th and 21st centuries. In 2015, the first of these exhibitions, What We Call Love, From Surrealism to Now,looked at how notions of love have evolved in art, and in 2017, the second, As Above, So Below: Portals, Visions, Spirits & Mystics, examined how the spiritual endures in our everyday lives.

Featured artists within the exhibition include Matthew Barney, Frank Bowling, Lee Bul, Oisín Byrne, Helen Chadwick, Dorothy Cross, David Douard, Marcel Duchamp, Tracey Emin, Justine Emard, Max Ernst, Awol Erizku, Cao Fei, Genieve Figgis, Ann Maria Healy, Elaine Hoey, James Joyce, Bharti Kher, Jonah King, Seiha Kurosawa, Yayoi Kusama, Rene Magritte, Eddie Peake, Tschabalala Self, Mickalene Thomas and VALIE EXPORT, amongst others.

A significant publication accompanies the exhibition, featuring contributions from the exhibiting artists, co-curators and key contemporary thinkers from a variety of fields, ranging from poetry and philosophy to architecture and performance, including Sasha Bonét, Vaari Claffey, Pádraic E. Moore, Yuko Hasegawa, Johanna Hedva, Jonah King, Aidan Mathews, Eddie Peake, Mario Perniola, Jennie Taylor and Nathalie Weadick.

A series of Limited Artist Editions by artists—including Dorothy Cross, Tracey Emin and Genieve Figgis—are available for this exhibition.

The architecture of the exhibition is designed by AP+E.