Frieze review: EVA International 2016
Review of EVA Biennale, Limerick, Ireland
by Gemma Tipton
Published in Frieze, June - August 2016.
With more than 50 participating artists, this year’s EVA International nominally responded to the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising – the failed revolution that nevertheless set the pattern for the politics and ideologies of the future Irish Republic. Titled ‘Still (The) Barbarians’, it is one of a vast number of commemorative events and exhibitions around the country that are at their best when they ignore knee-jerk romanticization of past martyrs and, instead, explore how we deal with our histories, the imperatives for contemporary revolution and what the future might hold.
In EVA’s largest venue, the semi-dilapidated former Cleeve’s Condensed Milk factory, the many hours of video work make for an initially daunting prospect. However, Cameroon-born, Senegal-based curator Koyo Kouoh is an excellent exhibition-maker and has paced things well. Highlights here include Jeremy Hutchison’s Fabrications (2013–16), an installation exploring the history of Palestine through a semi-fictionalized account of indigo mining, which culminates in the hauntingly evocative image of a once-dazzlingly blue land drained of all its colour.