Tourist reading the newspaper on the beach, August 2015, Kos, Kos Island, Greece, Europe

The main exhibition in 2016, IDEALS, brings to City Assembly House fifteen projects of local and international photographers that, as dynamic flâneurs, explore the world and seek to improve it by highlighting socio-political issues we tend to ignore in our everyday lives. Whether part of an artistic or a journalistic practice, there is no limit or guidelines to what can be achieved, as long as it is born out of a personal desire to fulfil a personal ideal.

Curated by Ángel Luis González, PhotoIreland’s Director, the installation underlines the inseparable relation between artists and society; and presents it as an extension of their everyday concerns and investigations.

IDEALS is the second of projects programmed by PhotoIreland engaging with the 1916 celebrations in Ireland, alongside Phototropism, which took place last April at The Library Project. These projects use contemporary photography as the vehicle to reflect on the fight for equal rights and opportunities, the basis of a democratic society.

Finally, IDEALS wants to challenge standards in exhibition making as far as Photography is concerned – not to be missed!

The artists presented are:
Agustina Triquell, António Castilho, Elisa Gonzalez Miralles, Emer Gillespie, Enda Bowe, Florian van Roekel, Gavin Mullan, Jörg Brüggemann, Marie-Pierre Cravedi, Mark Duffy, Richard Seymour, Robert McCormack, Sean Hillen, Wawrzyniec Kolbusz, and Yaakov Israel.

Agustina Triquell

Agustina Triquell’s project ‘The Dam’ is concerned with Utopias and conquering social rights such as the right to a holiday. Based in the Peronist region in Cordoba, Argentina, the images both architectural and archival deal with the elaboration, reinterpretation and appropriation of visual documents to produce an artistic piece.

Mark Duffy

‘Vote No. 1’ by Mark Duffy is a work which examines the culture of election advertising in Ireland and focuses on the accidental, and often gruesome, disfigurements the electoral candidates’ faces suffer – an unintended consequence of their posters’ erection. The work can be seen to reflect the failed notion of the ‘ideal’ when it comes to the perfect images the candidates have chosen to represent themselves with.

Robert McCormack

In Facade, Robert McCormack seeks out overlooked aspects of inequality in urban life,starting a conversation around social stratification, that forethical reasons, does not rely on the visualisation of poverty.

Wawrzyniec Kolbusz

Kolbusz looks at the idea of Truth and what happens in the absence of Truth.
In Sacred Defence images make us believe we see the war. We are looking at illusions, however. Embedded mainly in the post-war reality of the Iraq-Iran war, Sacred Defense is a story of producing artificial war images and reconstructing historical events to create a group memory and gain political leverage.

Florian can Roekel

Florian van Roekel’s work ‘Fear of Fall’ reflects the fear and inevitable decay that sets in immediately after we have achieved a seemingly perfect situation and can be seen as a metaphor for society in economic and social distress.

Jörg Brüggemann

Jorg Brueggemann’s work ‘Tourists vs Refugees’ primarily aims to address the question of how privileged westerners react to the global refugee crisis when faced with it directly during summer holiday’s. However, in this work Brueggemann is also asking the viewer to address where they feel empathy, on the side of the tourists or the refugees?

Elisa Gonzalez Miralles

Elisa Gonzalez Miralles critiques the idealisation of the female figure in her work ‘Wannabe’. The images challenge the cultural and social expectations which are placed on women furthering questions about how societal standards determine human behaviour and constrain identity development.

Enda Bowe

Enda Bowe’s work ‘Songs from Boni’, based in Belfast, Ireland aims to be free from political and geographical contexts. Instead, the work highlights universal and complex social issues such as the longing, yearning, aspirations and vulnerabilities of young people.

Emer Gillespie

For Emer Gillespie’s project ‘Fallen Women’ she was inspired to highlight the memories and histories of some of the 44,000 birth mothers of Ireland, who were coerced into giving their children up for adoption during 20th Century Catholic Ireland. The work facilitates birth mothers in reclaiming their memories and dealing with past events by means of modern photographic documentation and archival practices.

Antonio Castilho

Antonio Castilho brings to our attention the ‘Revolution of the Gillyflower’, a social movement led by military forces in Portugal in 1974. The images show the celebrations that occurred in the years after this revolution.

Gavin Mullan

Gavin Mullan, presents a body of work ‘No Consent’ which is concerned by the interference of Shell Oil into the landscape and livelihoods of the people of Mayo, Ireland and has achieved this by embedding himself within the protests that have erupted surrounding this issues.

Marie-Pierre Cravedi

Marie-Pierre Cravedi presents a body of work which is concerned with familial relationships. ‘Réunion’, looks at family memory, and the connections between human beings and their environment and addresses how the connection between reality and fiction is completely present in the memory construction.

Richard John Seymour

Richard John Seymour’s work ‘Yiwu Commodity City’ which is based in the Zhejiang province of China reflects the relentless production of consumer items as well as raising questions about the nature of value, economies of scale and human labour.

Sean Hillen

Sean Hillen’s work is concerned with how truth is understood in socio-political issues presents in IDEALS two bodies of work – ‘Searching for Evidence’ & ‘WHAT’S WRONG?’ which reflect this journey of seeking peace through the truth process.

Yaakov Israel

Yaakov Israel’s work ‘Legitimacy of the Landscape’ presents itself as a visual exploration of the Arab, Bedouin and Druze villages in Israel/Palestine and through utilising traditional techniques seeks to confront the viewers with the ‘visibility’ of these invisible landscapes.