Performance and Book Launch Backgarden Trilogy

Backgarden Trilogy (c) Wolfe Hall

Thu, 23.11.2023

6:00 PM

Goethe-Institut Irland

A performance and quadrilingual publication about Dublin city's urban space

Backgarden Trilogy 
Irina Gheorghe 
Curated by Sara Damaris Muthi 

Goethe-Institut Irland
23 November 2023
Book Launch 6 pm

Performance 7 pm

The book Backgarden Trilogy features photography, drawings and a sci-fi story written by the artist. It uses strategies of defamiliarisation to engage with Dublin city's urban space, in particular its gardens, parks and outdoor sports fields. Defamiliarisation is a central device of science fiction, a mechanism through which our everyday surroundings become strange due to their subjection to an alien, foreign perspective. The artist focuses on three emblematic green spaces in Dublin: the formal garden at the IMMA Irish Museum of Modern Art in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, the GAA pitch in Saint Enda's park and the suburban back garden as a generic, familiar place.

In addition to the short story, the publication also features an essay by the curator, both texts quadrilingual (in Romanian, Irish, German and English). The use of these four languages speaks to the artist and curator’s shared and separate cultural spheres, and as a way, through translation, to add additional layers of defamiliarisation. In the performance, recognisable environments are further integrated into new docu-fictional scenarios through text and movement, thus rendered unfamiliar. 

Backgarden Trilogy was born from the artist and curator’s shared experience as Romanian residents living in Dublin. Unfamiliar with the purposes of ‘H’ shaped white metal posts scattered through public parks, these structures were, for Gheorghe, reminiscent of extra-terrestrial symbols found in the landscapes of sci-fi novels. The parks, gardens and green areas referenced through this work are both natural and artificial, rendering these environments even more unnatural.

Irina Gheorghe is an artist born in Târgoviște, România. Solo exhibitions include Principles of Space Detection at NCAD Gallery, Dublin (2023); Things Which Are Not Here, of Which We Cannot Say at Ivan Gallery, Bucharest (2022); Methods for the Study of What Is Not There at Künstlerhaus Bremen (2021) and Betraying the Senses, or How to Speak of What Is Not There at Project Arts Centre, Dublin (2022). Selected group shows include Grazer Kunstverein, Salonul de Proiecte Bucharest, National Museum of Contemporary Art Bucharest, CCA Derry, Glasgow International, TRAFO Budapest, Pratt Manhattan Gallery New York, Times Museum Guangzhou, HOME Manchester, etc.

Sara Damaris Muthi is an Irish-Romanian curator and writer. She is currently a curatorial assistant at IMMA and curator of visual art at Brown Mountain Diamond, an artist-run art space in deep rural Ireland. Her recent research practice explores the intersections of Evangelicalism and Western visual culture. Sara Muthi is the recipient of Black Church Print Studio Emerging Curator Award 2022 and Pallas Projects Studios / PVA Writer Award 2023.

Image and publication designed by Wolfe Hall

Funded by Fingal County Council
Supported by the Goethe-Institut Irland