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New Irish Works 2023-2024: Cian Burke, I fear that the magic has left this place

on February 22, 2024

I fear that the magic has left this place, Cian Burke
New Irish Works series 2023-24
 6pm Thu 29th February
Running 29th February to 31st March
At The Library Project

PhotoIreland presents new work by Cian Burke. This is the ninth exhibition in the New Irish Works series 2023-24.

I fear that the magic has left this place is a body of work inspired by the story of Karl-Göran Persson who, having received a booklet titled Om Kriget Kommer (If War Comes) distributed by the Swedish government in 1961, began to fortify his small farmhouse until he had created a giant concrete bunker that could protect his entire community. While Persson passed away in 1975 the decaying ruin of the house remains as a monument to his endeavours. More recently the government sent around an updated version of the booklet with advice related to more contemporary threats.

Today Persson’s farmhouse stands as the embodiment of a reaction to such perceived threats, and its status as a ruined and fragmented construction provides a physical link to that history. An exploration of these past references also encourages connections to be made with our present condition, often leading to a sense of concern about the future. In our current climate, the idea of the future seems as something evermore precarious and uncertain.

I fear that the magic has left this place reflects upon questions and themes such as, where we exist in relation to an imagined future/ or past, what it might mean to fortify a place, a home, for perceived threats that may or may not ever come and how cast-off objects and materials can function as symbolic portents - ultimately aiming to create a narrative in which real events and internalised hopes and fears are juxtaposed with fictional ideas and spaces.

About the Artist

Cian Burke is an artist and curator originally from Dublin but based in Sweden since 2010. Working primarily with photography and installation his work sits at the intersection of the documentary field and the mannerisms of staged photography - where the notion of truth is up for negotiation. He holds a BA from the Glasgow School of Art and an MFA from Valand Academy in Gothenburg. Recent exhibitions include Copenhagen Photo Festival, Capa Centre Budapest, CAMERA Turin, Fotofestwal Lodz and Galleri Rostrum, Malmö. He has been selected for EU funded projects Parallel Photography Platform (2019) and Futures (2022) and is the recipient of both a 1 and 2 year working grant from the Swedish Arts Council.

About New Irish Works

The New Irish Works series brings contemporary photographic practices to The Library Project throughout 2023-24 with the support of Inspirational Arts and the Arts Council of Ireland. Alongside Mark Duffy, the artists selected for New Irish Works include Audrey Blue, Bryony Dunne, Jialin Long, Pauline Rowan, Martin Seeds, Martin Cregg, Cian Burke, Róisín White, and Shia Conlon.

New Irish Works is a triennial project run by PhotoIreland to represent and promote the growing diversity of contemporary photographic practices in Ireland. It enriches the Irish ecosystem with much needed new voices, new curatorial approaches, facilitate much deserved new opportunities, and invigorate the Irish photography scene.

This unique artist support programme is run since 2013 by PhotoIreland in 3-year cycles, generating a growing set of professional development opportunities for selected lens-based practitioners throughout the duration of each cycle. The call is open every three years to Irish and Ireland-based artists at any stage of their career.

Throughout its history, New Irish Works has exhibited and showcased nationally across Dublin, Cork, and Limerick, and internationally from Paris, Amsterdam to Madrid, Ukraine, and beyond; it published and distributed a book featuring 25 artists in 2013, and a collection of 20 solo publications in 2016. The publications have sold worldwide and are now part of many private and public collections, including key cultural organisations such as the Hasselblad Foundation Library and the Centre Culturel Irlandais.

Find out more about New Irish Works →

Launch 6pm on Thursday 29th February 2024 at The Library Project
Running 29 February-31 March

on February 22, 2024

Launch 6pm on Thursday 8th February 2024 at The Library Project

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Launch 6pm Fri 16 February

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Black Church Emerging Curator Exhibition 2024 opens on the 12th January

on January 05, 2024

Launch 6pm on Thursday 7 December at The Library Project

on November 21, 2023

Launch 6pm 19 Oct 2023

on September 21, 2023