LCGA Exhibitions

Clare Langan The Ice Above, the Fire Below and Other Works 2007-2009

Mar 5 2009 2:32PM
Limerick City Gallery of Art


metamorphosis 2007 Filmstill Clare Langan 1

Limerick City Gallery of Art is delighted to present a major exhibition of exceptional video installations by Clare Langan, including the Irish premier of her latest work, a three screen presentation of The Ice Above, the Fire Below

Langan's films are a contemporary meditation on the Romantic Landscape in its entire beautiful, haunting and melancholic splendor. Her film works demonstrate the striking intensity of the natural landscape juxtaposed seamlessly with her convincing sets. These powerful films evoke strong emotional connections, taking the viewer on a whirlwind of visual explorations.

The Ice Above, the Fire Below is a film of the sea, shot using a high speed digital Phantom Camera. The camera enables the use of extreme slow motion not possible with a regular camera. The film creates a wall of water in the space emulating the effect of being in the middle of, or surrounded by a tidal wave. Projecting the videos in a gallery situates the viewer in an immersive panoramic experience of sound and vision.

Traces of Caspar David Friedrich's images may be found in the immaculately framed and dramatic staging of violence, deluge and the constant threat of man's obliteration. Some of the film scenes' are generated through the construction of miniature scenes onto which disaster is then unleashed. Langan, a very gifted film maker skilled in both traditional and technological means, takes us on a journey through multiple geographical locations both real and constructed, allowing us access to dreamlike visions of the potential chaos that exists in nature and in our cinematic memories.

Her films and photographs, offer us visions of a future overwhelmed by nature after what seems to be a major catastrophe. An unnerving sensation of post-environmental-hazards are omni-present. This gives us a feeling of a vacated World, reinforced by the fact of a story untold that documents the aftermath of these calamities. There is a dreamlike and/or nightmarish character, created by the optical qualities of these films. These qualities are attributed to the images that take place on exceptional grounds: the Namib Desert, in Ireland, and in Iceland .

As spectators, we are not only caught between the gaps and fissures breaking up the illusion of linear time but also in the predicament of being unable to discern between what is real and artificial. We are required to transcend our traditional cinematic meaning structures. Compellingly Langan is a masterful narrator who proscribes a propaedeutic relationship between art and nature, and asks us to look beyond its optical composition.                                                              Rachael Thomas

Clare Langan, born 1967, studied Fine Art at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin and with a Fulbright Scholarship, completed a film workshop at New York University in 1992. She is based in Dublin . Her film Metamorphosis, 2007 won the Principle Prize at the Oberhausen International Short Film Festival, Germany . Langan will represent Ireland at Sounds and Visions, Art Film and Video from Europe, Museum of Modern Art , Tel Aviv in February 2009.

Exhibitions include: Expo Zaragoza 2008, Spain . Singapore Biennial, 2008. Lyon Biennale 2007. Houldsworth Gallery, London . Loop, Barcelona . NCA Gallery, Tokyo . Pratt Art Gallery New York . Miguel Marcos Gallery, Barcelona . In 2003 Langan presented A Film Trilogy at MoMA in New York and at the RHA, Dublin . In She represented Ireland in the 25th Bienal de Sao Paulo, Brazil 2002 and The International 2002, Tate Liverpool for The Liverpool Biennial.









The Gallery Plan Your Visit Gallery Events Exhibitions The Collection Education Publications Media