From Galway to Mexico with TULCA

TULCA, GALWAY’S Festival of Visual Arts 2010, returns from November 6 to 21 and will present work by more than 40 national and international artists across eight venues and public spaces in Galway city.

The title and theme of this year’s event is Living on the Edge: People, Place & Possibility, and while the participating artists hail from as far as Latin America, the 2010 programme will explore many issues relevant to contemporary Ireland.

TULCA 2010 is curated by Michelle Browne, founder of the OUT OF SITE festival of live art in public spaces in Dublin. Originally from Bohermore, Michelle is an award-winning artist who has exhibited widely in Ireland, Europe and the US.

The Hispanic connection

One of the Highlights of TULCA 2010 will be When Faith Moves Mountains by the Mexican artist Francis Alÿs. This widely acclaimed work offers images of social empowerment and collective action and will be exhibited throughout the Festival in the Docks Shed, Dock Street, at the Galway Harbour.

The images focus on a group of 500 volunteers in the outskirts of Lima, Peru. Armed with shovels, volunteers formed a line at the end of a massive 1,600ft sand dune and began moving the sand about four inches from its original location.

Also in the Dock’s Shed, Marjetica Potrc’s Xapuri: Rural School is a case study of a primary school that has been built in a remote area of the Amazonian forest in the Brazilian state of Acre. An artist and architect, Potrc’s work emphasises individual empowerment, problem-solving tools, and strategies for the future.

Mira Mar Y Otros by Belgium-based artists Filip Van Dingenen and dancer/choreographed Barbara Pereyra will run in the Galway Arts Centre for the duration of the festival.

The work is a fictional tour of the last remaining pulperias in remote areas of the Pampas region in Argentina. Pulperias are taverns situated in the countryside selling food, goods, and alcohol. They acted as a meeting point along important roads before the introduction of the railway system.

The demise of the Pulperias in Argentina reflects similar changes in the infrastructure of the Irish countryside, as towns and villages become increasingly isolated as a result of bypassing motorways. See it in the Galway Arts Centre throughout TULCA.

There will also be performance events from a number of artists coming to TULCA, including Paola Paz Yee from Mexico City who will perform Untitled in the Nuns Island Theatre on Sunday November 7 at 6pm. Her work is preoccupied with the need to balance the body inside a piece of art, so she explores spaces with her body.

Venezuelan artist Rico will present a solo piece and a collaborative performance with Ignacio Perez in the Nuns Island Theatre on Sunday November 14th 6pm. Rico’s work explores elements and meanings that speak of her beliefs regarding states of fragility and existence.

Live @ 8 in Bar 8 on The Docks will hold a special event on Wednesday November 10 from 8pm to 10pm, showing a selection of video work by South American artists.

Galway and Ireland

Galway and its surrounding areas recurs throughout the TULCA 2010 programme. The Promenade is the subject of Galway-based artist Ruby Wallis’ Auto Promenades, involving different participants from a variety of backgrounds, in Galway Arts Centre.

Aughty Public Art Projects 2010 is based on the work of artists Emma Houlihan, Marie Connole, and Tom Flannagan, and their engagement with communities in Woodford, Portumna and Loughrea. It will be exhibited in the Fairgreen Gallery.

Galway artist Fiona Woods has also created an exhibition specifically for Tulca 2010, entitled Common?. Common? will become a feature of the city for the two weeks of the Festival, and will feature large, sometimes surreal, images being displayed in Eyre Square and the Spanish Arch.

Engage Studios will host a show by the Irish artists Eimear Jean McCormack , Jennifer Cunningham, Cecilia Danell, Miriam Donohue, Meave Curtis, and Maria Brennan in the Niland Gallery, Merchants Road.

James Ó hAodha spent a number of weeks working in Merlin Park Hospital in the normally closed context of the dialysis unit in a dialogue with the staff and patients who occupy it on a daily basis. Service users of the dialysis unit are required to spend an average of four hours a day for three days in every week.

Ó hAodha's photographs, using super 8 film on manual view finder, investigate life within the unit. See the results in the Fairgreen Gallery, Ground Level, throughout TULCA from 12 noon to 7pm.

One of the potentially fascinating Irish exhibitions could be Denis Buckley’s Bohola Men. Bohola Men is inspired by the post-war Irish presence in London and the estimation that from 1939 to 1969 the Irish in Britain contributed some £3 billion to Ireland.

Bohola Men is a performance ballad, using documentary footage mixed with personal experience. Buckley relates how the collectivism and usefulness of Ireland’s post war emigrants, who believed in an imagined sense of place, is no longer needed in an ideology of individualism and how witnessing that shift has tempered his sense of belonging. See it in Bar 8, Saturday November 20 at 6pm.

Admission to all events is free. The TULCA programme is now available in businesses and venues across the city. See also www.tulca.ie for full programme details.

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