Michele Horrigan Back
EVA International

EVA International
Ireland’s Biennial of Contemporary Art, Limerick
18 September–15 November 2020
Curated by Merve Elveren

Describing the approach to the Guest Programme, Merve Elveren says: ‘From belonging to displacement, desire to memory, uncertainty to disaster, Little did they know traces the changing connotations of land in recent history. It aims to bring together the forgotten or overlooked moments and attempts of collectivity from periods that continue to resonate in the present. To this end, Little did they know proposes to build an exercising ground that overcomes the limits of time and place. It also attempts to constitute a visual archive for interactions between research-based projects and artistic responses as unlikely but timely interlocutors.’

In this context, I presented a selection of artworks related to my research into the aluminium industry – Stigma Damages, Apex and What A Feeling! featured in a multi-venue presentation in Limerick City.

At the Sailors Home, located at the entrance to Limerick Port, a particular emphasis was placed on RUSAL Aughinish, Europe’s largest bauxite refinery located twenty kilometres downstream from the exhibition venue. At the Hunt Museum, once the city’s customs house and today a popular history museum, a collection of precious jewellery from the permanent collection were removed to make way for a study of another form of metal, that of the making, uses and consequences of aluminium. This journey incorporates the top of the Washington monument, mines in Guinea, consumer society, big business and environmental cover-ups in the nearby Shannon Estuary.