The best art exhibitions this week: Grayson Perry at the RHA

Encounters between the human and institutional, plus a history of Dublin in nine maps

Grayson Perry: The Vanity of Small Differences

Gallery I & II, RHA, Ely Place, Dublin, Until March 19th,

Garyson Perry’s stab at a Rake’s Progress in six narrative tapestries was made as part of a 2012 Channel 4 documentary series, All in the Best Possible Taste, following Perry’s personal exploration of the class system and its links to taste in England. His rake is Tim Rakewell, and his progress from humble birth to fame – and death – is visualised in settings in Sunderland, Tunbridge Wells and the Cotswolds. Social satire via comic-book imagery. Perry’s fame should draw the crowds.

EX-VOTO: the body + the institution


Galway Arts Centre, 47 Dominick St, Galway, Until March 10th,

Works by six artists that addresses, in various ways, the subjective experiences of health and illness in encounters between the corporeal human being and several institutional authorities, including medicine, pharma, corporate entities and the State itself. Michel Foucault's ideas on power, institutions and individuals in The Birth of the Clinic are a point of reference. The artists are Lucy Beech, Jenna Bliss, Cecilia Bullo, Judy Foley, Sinéad Gleeson and Rajinder Singh.

Quotidian Tensions between the Domestic and the Unexpected – Vanessa Donoso López

Golden Thread Gallery, 84-94 Great Patrick St, Belfast, Until February 17th

Vanessa Donoso López gathered soil from three different locations in Spain – Utrilla in the midlands, Alanís de la Sierra in the south and Camallera in Girona. She extracted clay and fashioned objects with it, with a mind to its practical and ritual social uses across cultures and communities. More purely sculptural works embody the creativity that emerges from communications and plurality.

Transit Gateway

The LAB Gallery, Foley St, Dublin, Until March 4th,

Nine maps charting the development of Dublin Port from medieval times to the present day, were created by Silvia Loeffier. Commissioned by the Dublin Port Company, the maps are on loan to The LAB, where Moira Sweeney's essay film, Keepers of the Port, which juxtaposes images and accounts of the workings of Dublin Port in the past, with its current role in a globalised world of containerisation, automation and computer calibrated shipping schedules.

Kills 99.9% of bacteria

Centre for Contemporary Art, 10-12 Artillery St, Derry, Until March 10th,

This exhibition covers “Encounters with otherness” in video, audio and installation works by Kate Cooper, French & Mottershead, Edy Fung, Jasmin Marker, Jennifer Mehigan & Darius Ou, and Roee Rosen. It throws up some interesting questions such as: Are common views on “purity, containment and contamination” misleading? Barriers and differences, “filth and abjection” may not be what they seem. And the body is not other to but vitally involved with “the non-human entities that occupy it and the world around us”.