Aoibheann Greenan: THE PERFECT WAGNER RITE
curated by Anja Henckel & Alice Planel
24 April - 21 May 2016

SPECIAL EVENT DURING GALLERY WEEKEND
WALPURGISNACHT PERFORMANCE
SATURDAY, 30 APRIL, 9PM - MIDNIGHT
During Gallery Weekend 2016, on Walpurgisnacht the night of witches, fire and warlocks. Guests are invited to explore the installation. The artist will perform her bawdy libretto LIVE together with the composer and musical accompaniment.

'The Perfect Wagner Rite' takes George Bernard Shaw‘s philosophical and political commentary on Wagner’s tetralogy ‘The Ring of the Nibelungs’ as its starting point. In a deliberate act of cultural voyeurism inspired by Shaw’s interpretation of Wagner, Aoibheann Greenan invents a pseudo-subculture of contemporary worshippers whose philosophies and practices draw heavily on the Ring as a source of legitimation. She has created an elaborate and delirious theatrical environment, part fetishist spectacle, part esoteric ritual ground.

Within the gallery space at Import, Greenan has installed a replica of George Bernard Shaw’s rotating writing hut, which can be set in motion by performers and thus functions as a peepshow of sorts. Overseen by a giant god-head figure, performers will utilise Greenan’s extravagant costumes and props to enact an epic drama in which sexual desire mirrors cupidity and consumerist culture, sexual perversions mirror systems of law and domination. Entering into the ring the audience/voyeur becomes indirectly initiated into Greenan‘s mock-ceremony. Through the prism of Shaw’s commentary, Greenan’s work playfully questions what rituals and folklore can create political and cultural agency today.

For previous exhibitions of her work Greenan orchestrated immersive and bizarre worlds from finely crafted objects and live performances. With ‘The Perfect Wagner Rite’ Greenan is working on a greater scale and has created a ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’ of epic proportions with musical score, talking heads, a rotating hut, and elaborate costumes and props made of myriad materials and textures, richly decorated and painstakingly produced.

The Perfect Wagner Rite is an Import Projects commission in collaboration with curator Alice Planel and Anja Henckel, and was conceived as a site-specific and performative installation; the frenzied exuberance of Greenan’s imagined world parodies the constant reinvention normalised by a micro-society of globe-trotting, urban and creative workers who call Berlin home.

Elaborate hand-made costumes, godheads and allegory: the stage is set for a collision between epic drama and bawdy ritual.

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An Import Projects commission supported by Culture Ireland and the Embassy of Ireland in Berlin.