Deus praesidium, Mercatura Decus - God is our strength and merchandise is our glory - the value of Ireland?
A contemporary art project examining the received gestures, symbols and props of Irish life. Drawing on artistic legacy such as that of Andy Warhol who encouraged looking again at the familiar and the mass produced as a political act, Duffy presents ‘multiple produce’ in an exploration of the Irish lived experience.
Historical, political and social events are reworked and presented to the viewer as irreverent thought-provoking everyday commodities - tins and jars are released from the larder to question our cultural divisions and values. All is approached and presented to reaffirm and examine the commonality of our essential human needs.
Duffy questions conventional readings of the past, upending familiar gestures and symbols, excavating an alternative ‘truth’, crucially messing with the very ideas, ‘heroes’ and stories on which conflicts have rested.
Ideas are condensed into products where the purchase or engagement with the products becomes an act of 21st century subversion for the consumer, encouraging us all to ask questions about value and history.
Duffy connects geographies, ancient and recent conflicts and crucially brings the discussion into the everyday, the familiar and the domestic in her widely recognised and highly articulated methodology.
-all had changed, utterly…the event is gone, we are left with stories. With a historical event, we not only have to bear witness, that is to tell what happened and address the needs of ghosts - we also have to interpret and conclude so that the needs of people today, they the children of ghosts, can be addressed in addition to the knowledge of history - we need the understanding of art –stories to identify, even unify, to give meaning, just as a painting is colour that makes sense -so a story is life that makes sense.’ Rita Duffy
Workshops will be made available throughout the length of Rita’s exhibition here at the Highlanes. Updates on current and future events can be found through the official Highlanes Gallery Facebook (Highlanes Facebook) and Twitter (Highlanes Twitter)
Highlanes Gallery is grateful for the ongoing financial support from Louth County Council, the Arts Council, and Patrons, Benefactors and Friends of the gallery.