On 7 November 2014 the exhibition Phoenix rising: art and civic imagination opened at Dublin City Gallery the Hugh Lane. This exhibition and related events explore the current place of civic ideals in urban life and contemporary art practice. It references Dublin’s 1914 Civic Exhibition, which was inspired by the work of Scottish biologist, sociologist and planner Patrick Geddes and which attempted to re-imagine Dublin as ‘the phoenix of cities’ during a period of economic, social and political strife. The original Civic Exhibition was held in the grounds of Kings Inns and the adjoining Linen Hall between 15 July and 31 August 1914. While overshadowed by the outbreak of the First World War, the exhibition had incorporated a competition to devise a new town plan for Dublin; this was won by Patrick Abercrombie, Arthur Kelly and Sydney Kelly, and was published in 1922 under the title Dublin of the future.
Phoenix rising showcases contemporary artists’ responses to the urban environment using different strategies to understand and represent the city. It includes work by Stephen Brandes, Mark Clare, Cliona Harmey, Vagabond Reviews, Stéphanie Nava and Mary-Ruth Walsh. A series of accompanying newsletters will present research generated in the lead-up to and during the exhibition and can be downloaded here. Phoenix rising runs until 29 March 2015 and is presented with the support of the French Embassy in Ireland.
From Century Ireland: Huge crowds visit exhibition in Dublin.