CCA Derry-Londonderry enters a new phase
This is CCA Derry-Londonderry’s final week in its current space before reopening in a much bigger building, just in time for the city’s year as the inaugural UK City of Culture. Co-director Johan Lundh explains the move.
25.06.12 Like the city it is so intimately connected to, CCA Derry-Londonderry is going through changes. In a few days time, the doors will close on the final exhibition in its current space, before it packs its bags and moves out on 1 July. It will reopen again on 1 November at 10-12 Artillery Street, just a few doors down.
“The new space is nearly three times the size of our current gallery,” explains CCA’s co-director and curator Johan Lundh. “It will also offer direct street access, greater flexibility, more exhibition space, a workshop area, an art library and a residency apartment.”
The venue’s farewell exhibition is indicative of its relationship with the city; 'You Are Now Entering ____' is freighted with awareness of the area’s own socio-political discord and troubled history.
The show takes its title from the famous 1969 mural You Are Now Entering Free Derry, which still stands in the city. Curated by Miguel Amado as part of his ongoing research into the imagination of Northern Ireland, it explores the notion of a conflict society and how this is encountered in visual culture. It brings together diverse works from artists includingAlfredo Jaar, ShilpaGupta, Emily Jacir, Carlos Noronha Feio and Amy Yao.
“We come at curating from our own point of view,” explains Lundh, “but use familiar strategies of combining local, regional, and international artists in exhibitions on themes we consider pertinent to the city.”
CCA’s move to a new venue comes at an important moment for Derry-Londonderry, the second-largest city in Northern Irelandand the fourth-biggest in Ireland. In 2013, it will take up the mantle of the inaugural UK City of Culture (www.cityofculture2013.com). As part of the celebrations, the city also plays host to the Turner Prize, though the venue for this has yet to be decided.
CCA was formerly the Context Gallery, which for more than twenty years supported work by young and emerging artists from Northern Ireland, alongside established international names, across its exhibitions, off-site projects, public programmes, and in- and outbound residencies.
“This [the move] is part of a radical change to receive more attention from a larger audience, including a virtual one,” says Lundh. “It’s really about situating people that live and work in Northern Ireland in an international context.”
CCA’s next exhibition, 'Contours of Commons', will take place from 21 September, prior to the new space opening. Sited in the public realm, it gives a clear message about the continued importance of Derry-Londonderry to the venue’s approach. “The centre of the show,” says Lundh, “will be the city itself.”
'You Are Now Entering ____' continues until 28 June. CCA Derry-Londonderry reopens in its new space 1 November. More information: cca-derry-londonderry.org
First published: a-n.co.uk June 2012
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