Belgian based Irish artist Ella de Búrca responds to the well-documented and exciting working life of Harald Szeemann, celebrated curator of the seminal exhibition When Attitudes Become Form. Before becoming a curator, Szeemann was known for his One Man Shows. This theatrical imperative stayed with him throughout his career, animated in both his avant-garde exhibitions and dramatic public persona. Drawing on archives made available though the Getty Research Institute, de Búrca will respond to research unearthed, through a practice that stages ideas through negative space, absence, and the denial of reality.
Ella de Búrca (b. Dublin, 1986) creates installations conceived for a specific occasions, which disappear after exhibition. Her bold, large scale sculptures could be mistaken for theatre sets, as she plays with performance and the object to comb through hegemonic masculinity in Irish literature and culture. Her pieces are site- specific, and often use humour as a means to kickstart awareness of dissensus or taboo subjects. Her work lies in between social practice and fetishisation, drawing from history and place to create luscious, temporary interventions. De Búrca’s inspiration is sparked in Dublin, but finds resonance internationally as her highly evocative, impersonal pieces overlap historical ghosts with contemporary issues to create a questioning of reality, presence and awareness.
Recent exhibitions include Summer RIsing, IMMA, June 2015; GOBO. ArtBox, Jan 2015; Otherwise, WYSPA Gdansk, July 2014; Slow Future, Museum of Contemporary Art CSW Warsaw, June 2014; Crampographies, KW Institute for Contemporary Art 2014; Must Go On, RuaRed, Dublin 2014; Dis-Placement, The Mission Gallery, Chicago 2014; Rebuilding Utopia, The Emergency Pavilion at The 53rd Venice Biennale 2013; Playing Nature, at The 5th Moscow Biennale September 2014; Haha Harcourt Road, ArtLot Dublin 2013; and Illuminating Kunstholes, at Coffre-Fort, Brussels, Belgium, 2013. De Búrca was the recipient of the Evelyn Wood Memorial Award (The Banff Centre) in 2011, as well as the Amharc Fhinne Ghall Award (Fingal County Council) in 2010. In 2013 de Búrca was awarded an exhibition grant by Culture Ireland and Fingal County Council for The Moscow Biennale. In 2014 de Búrca was awarded an Arts Council Bursary from The Irish Arts Council, and in 2015 she was the recipient of The Firestation Studios Sculpture Residency Award, and The Temple Bar & Galleries Project Award 2015. De Búrca begins a two year residency at The HISK, Ghent in January 2016.