Click for your art in 2017 but be discerning

Culture review 2016: It was a year of madness, brilliant takes on 1916 and continuing State starvation

Aideen Barry’s Not to be Known: a single channel performative film from 2015

Aideen Barry’s Not to be Known: a single channel performative film from 2015

 

What were your cultural highlights?

Aideen Barry’s Brittlefield at RHA in July: dark shards turned into private viewing experiences of worlds where you could go mad measuring up to society’s idea of sane.

Jaki Irvine’s If the Ground Should Open at Imma still haunts; as does Dennis McNulty’s I reached inside myself through time, at Imma as part of the Hennessy Art Fund collection – watch the end of days unfold, and then go back to the start. Entirely apposite for the year we’ve had.

And what let you down?

The Government still starving the cultural sector of support, while basking in its successes.

What was the dominant plot twist of 2016?

Definitely Roger Casement. It was a great year for painting: from Kevin Cosgrove at the Butler, to David Crone, John Cronin and Diana Copperwhite at RHA, to Damien Flood at Green on Red, and more, brushstrokes were brilliant but still no match for the volume of forays into the life of one of Ireland’s most intriguing flawed heroes. Alan Phelan’s Our Kind at Hugh Lane was one of the best.

How did our centenary celebrations strike you?

Strong, surprising and mainly brilliant. Núria Güell’s Troika Fiscal Disobedience Consultancy at Project proposed a different kind of rebellion.

Rita Duffy’s Souvenir Shop was laugh-out-loud genius, with serious intent. Bridget O’Gorman’s In the Flesh at the Lab looked at the secret lives of artefacts, while A Different Republic, also at Lab, explored different kinds of citizenship with Aideen Barry, Amanda Coogan, Corban Walker and Suzanne Walsh.

Garrett Phelan’s Heed FM added genuine insights from the next generation. Something to be proud of.

And what will be your cultural resolution for 2017?

Click on things, but not just any things. We will end up getting the words we deserve: in our age of juicy clickbait and fake news, the best way to support arts coverage is to read it.

And 2016 in three words

Still in shock.

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