Apocalypse Anxieties

Saturday 27 April – Monday 27 May 2024
Beyond Survival Expert (2022). 120mm photograph, photographer: Niamh Barry, assistant photographer: Aoife McGrath, image courtesy of Léann Herlihy and Project Arts Centre | Apocalypse Anxieties | Saturday 27 April – Monday 27 May 2024 | Luan Gallery | Image: Beyond Survival Expert (2022). 120mm photograph, photographer: Niamh Barry, assistant photographer: Aoife McGrath, image courtesy of Léann Herlihy and Project Arts Centre | figure in a photo studio, long, straight dark har to below shoulders; looking straight at us, sitting on what looks like a mound of camouflage gear; wearing what looks a sort-of armoured gilet, green t-shirt, grey shorts, green socks, walking boots; wooden dowel hanging down between legs
Offiial Opening Saturday 27 April at 2pm, with guest speaker Ian Kenneally

Luan Gallery is delighted to present Apocalypse Anxieties; a multi-disciplinary group show featuring work by Aideen Barry, Kerry Guinan, Léann Herlihy, Tom O’Dea, Orla Punch, Christopher Steenson, and Frank Sweeney, guest curated by Kerry Guinan.

Apocalypse Anxieties — an exhibition at the end of the world — responds conceptually, aesthetically, and affectively to an underground “nuclear bunker” installed under Custume Barracks during the Cold War. Protected by reinforced concrete, and equipped with accommodation facilities, a command centre, and a RTÉ broadcasting studio, the officially named ‘Integrated National Control Centre’ was provisionally set up to serve as the emergency operational base for the Irish Government in the case of a nuclear attack by the U.S.S.R. Located directly across the road from the Luan Gallery, the site was in part selected for its proximity to the most powerful radio transmitter in the country, through which the government hoped to maintain communication with a nation in peril above ground.

In this exhibition, guest-curated by artist Kerry Guinan, the unused bunker becomes a symbol of the apocalyptic prospects that have shadowed the modern era and its unfettered productive ambitions. Presented in the form of an imaginary doom museum, the artworks in Apocalypse Anxieties subversibly inhabit historical, present-day, and speculative artefacts, including survivalist kits, post-Earth architectural models, geological material, and Cold-War-era radios and telephones, to raise critical questions about how catastrophes are prepared for, communicated, and survived — and by whom. Linking the existential threat of nuclear war to that of the climate crisis today, the exhibition holds space for the open expression of base survival fears at the levels of the individual, the species, and the Earth, while defending kinship and intimacy between these entities at the end of the world.

Image: Beyond Survival Expert (2022). 120mm photograph, photographer: Niamh Barry, assistant photographer: Aoife McGrath, image courtesy of Léann Herlihy and Project Arts Centre
Saturday 27 April – Monday 27 May 2024
Luan Gallery
Athlone, Co. Westmeath
Telephone: +353 9064 42154
info@luangallery.ie
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Opening hours / start times:
Tuesday 11:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 11:00 - 17:00
Thursday 11:00 - 17:00
Friday 11:00 - 17:00
Saturday 11:00 - 17:00
Sunday 12:00 - 17:00
Admission / price: Free

 
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