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The Gallery | 13/04/2024 - 27/04/2024

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Exhibition Run: 13 April - 27 April

Eoghan Ryan’s film installation A Sod State (2021), looks to conflicting themes of religion, statehood, state power, and spectatorship through the lens of the Northern Irish Troubles.

Shown for the first time in Ireland, the film unravels a world of untrustworthy narration, wandering sounds, strobing imagery, and disarray. It is a tale of a corrupted, often censored, surreal, and confused state of affairs, in which an inner demagogue is manifested. This creature, or puppet, is not quite god, not quite devil, and performs binary contradictions of class, faith, identity, and borders; private, public, and political.

A Sod State posits the Troubles in an alarmingly present tense, reconfigured as a time out of joint. Confusing memory and media, the film draws heavily from manipulated archival footage, juxtaposing it with images of recent post-Brexit media coverage. As such, it becomes an example of repetitive political theatre; a spectacle watched and consumed through TV screens and newspaper articles. Alongside the looping film, lies stacked piles of pallets. A pasted collage of images obliterate the white walls of the gallery. These images are enlarged and manipulated newspaper clippings, selected from the ongoing archive, sent to Ryan by his father every other week for the last fifteen years.

Q&A Saturday 20 April at 3pm

A conversation between Eoghan Ryan and Dr Rory Rowan, Trinity College Dublin will take place in the Complex Gallery.

The exhibition is accompanied by A Sod State – a publication featuring contributions from Maria Fusco, Jaki Irvine and Pádraic E. Moore.

This exhibition is the first in the series of projects, ‘The Ideas that Make Us’, curated by Więckiewicz-Carroll, that explore the impact of political and social structures on our identity.

Supported by the Arts Council of Ireland.


Eoghan Ryan (b. Dublin, Ireland, 1987) works with moving image, installation, performance, puppetry and collage. The work looks at collective and personal trauma, power and anarchy, voluntary and involuntary behavior, acting and reacting. Eoghan’s process involves careful and tactile editing, spending durational amounts of time documenting his own relationships to a specific person, place, object or song. He often deliberately limits his field of reference to an ongoing archive of images collated from newspaper clippings. The works deal with the disintegration of language in relation to urgent states of identity. These range from states of being and nation states to the cultivation of provisional culture in art, as much as bacteria, and perverse relationships to institutions as sites of formative significance.

Eoghan graduated from NCAD in 2010, received his MFA from Goldsmiths, London in 2013, and completed a residency at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in 2021. In addition to solo exhibitions such as Against the Day (Edith Russ Haus, 2024) Cut it off at the trunk (Rowing, London, 2017) and Oh wicked flesh! (South London Gallery, London, 2013), his works has been part of numerous group exhibitions, performances, film festivals and screening programs such as Centrale Fies, Italy; Busan Biennale 2022; IFFR, Rotterdam; Kunstervein Freiburg; Visio, Italy; the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; 427, Riga; Spike, Berlin; Serralves Museum, Porto; IFI, Dublin; Kem, Warsaw; Cubitt, London; CAC, Vilnius; Catalyst Arts, Belfast; FACT, Liverpool amongst others. Eoghan’s moving image work is distributed by LIMA, Amsterdam and he has received support from Arts Council Ireland, Culture Ireland and Mondriaan Fonds. He received the 2023 Stiftung Niedersachsen Grant for Media Art 2023.

Marysia Więckiewicz-Carroll (b. Wałbrzych, Poland, lives and works in Dublin) is an independent curator and art writer. She has curated numerous exhibitions and projects in Ireland and abroad and worked as Assistant Curator at Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane and the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA). She was one of the co-editors of Paper Visual Art Journal and the founding director of Berlin Opticians Gallery – a contemporary art gallery that operated both online and in physical spaces. Together with Nathan O'Donnell and Clare Bell she co-edits Numbered Editions - a new imprint for artists’ writing across forms. She has received awards from the Arts Council of Ireland and Culture Ireland.

Photography: Louis Haugh

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