Willie Doherty

11 Oct - 10 Nov 2006


Kerlin Gallery is pleased to announce the world premiere of a new film Empty by Willie Doherty.
Since he began exhibiting in the early 1980's, Doherty's work has consistently addressed problems of representation, territoriality and surveillance, and the politics and rhetoric of identity, especially in his native Northern Ireland
In EMPTY, his new video installation, Doherty records the exterior of a disused office building. The camera scrutinises the external surfaces of this strange but familiar utilitarian building from dawn to dusk, throughout the course of a single day. The building appears to have been left as if someone had turned off the light and didn't come back. Its abandonment is revealed by glimpses of dusty interiors and by the peeling blue paint that covers the entire building.
The stillness of the edifice is interrupted by the shifts that accompany the transition from dark to light and from rain to sunshine and these imperceptible, but at times dramatic changes animate the blue skin of the building. The empty shell resonates to the soundtrack of layered ambient sounds that refer to the immediate surroundings evoking echoes of past stories and events.
Local Solution and Show of Strength are the collective titles of a group of new photographs exploring the continuing ghettoisation of post-ceasefire Northern Ireland. They play upon the tension between the expansive imagery of blue skies and the demarcation of territory by flagpoles and security cameras. The beautiful but poignant photographs embrace the optimistic abstraction of modernist photography and the cynicism of tourism and political spin.
Solo exhibitions include 'False Memory' at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin and De Appel Institute, Amsterdam, 'True Nature' at the Renaissance Society, Chicago, 'Somewhere Else', at the Tate Gallery, Liverpool and the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, and 'Dark Stains' at the Koldo Mitexelena Kulturunea, San Sebastian, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Kunstalle, Bern, the Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon and the Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. Doherty represented Ireland at the 1993 Venice Biennale and won the 1995 Irish Museum of Modern Art/ Glen Dimplex Artists Award. He was also nominated for the Turner Prize in 1994 and 2003.
Major exhibitions in which he has participated in recent years include 'Wounds' at the Moderna Museet, Stockholm, 'Cocido y Crudo' at the Reina Sofia, Madrid, 'Face a l'Histoire 1933-96', the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, 'No Place Like Home', Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 'Being & Time' at the Albright-Knox Museum, Buffalo, 'I.D.' at the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, and the 1999 Carnegie International. He is represented in the collections of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, the Dallas Museum of Modern Art, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, the Tate Gallery, London, the Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh, the Moderna Museet, Stockholm, the Weltkunst Foundation, London and Sammlung Goetz, Munich.

© Willie Doherty
Empty 2006
dvd, 8 mins duration

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