Exhibition review: The Sunday Times, Dublin Contemporary 2011

September 18, 2011

Everything is not illuminated

The Dublin Contemporary 2011 is far from terrible but with a bit more thought it could have been so much more beautiful

Cristín Leach

Sunday September 18 2011, 1.01am BST, The Sunday Times

Forget Terrible Beauty, Dublin Contemporary 2011 should have been called Art Can Change the World. At least that appears to by the principle by which Jota Castro and Christian Viveros-Fauné, the curators, selected more than 100 examples of socially and politically motivated work from Ireland and around the world to fill three floors of a building on Earlsfort Terrace. A title such as that would have demystified the show’s intentions, given viewers a solid hook and arguably attracted a bigger audience.

Marketing mistakes aside, what most people want to know about the biggest contemporary art event in Irish history is whether it is any good. The short answer is this: DC2011 is too sure of itself to falter, but too piecemeal to completely convince.