The LAB Gallery & Rehearsal Studios

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The LAB is Dublin City Council's Arts Office, a dynamic hub of activity housing a gallery,
rehearsal and incubation space for a range of art forms. 



The LAB Gallery is pleased to invite you to the launch of The LAB 2016 exhibitions programme and the preview of

In the Flesh an exhibition of new work by Bridget O'Gorman made in collaboration with Brenda Malone, National Museum of Ireland and Sue Rainsford, writer

by Lord Mayor, Críona Ní Dhálaigh on Thursday 28th January from 6pm to 8pm at the LAB, Foley Street, Dublin .

In the Flesh
Bridget O'Gorman
Curator: Sheena Barrett
The Lab, Foley Street, Dublin 1
28th January to 12th March 2016

The LAB Gallery is pleased to present In the Flesh by Bridget O'Gorman. This is the first series of three exhibitions where contemporary artists have been invited to make new work in response to the 1916 Rising in collaboration with other research partners and institutions.  

In the Flesh is a collaboration between artist Bridget O’Gorman, historian Brenda Malone at the National Museum of Ireland Collins Barracks and writer Sue Rainsford. This new video focuses on the museum store at Collins Barracks and the artefacts stored there - many of which were donated by the relatives of those who were involved in the 1916 rising. In the film these objects are never revealed to the viewer instead they are described through Rainsford's script which gives a voice to the artefacts which have been protected from destabilising atmospheric contaminants, human touch and light.

This 'people's collection' which will be on display at Collins Barracks later in the year, contains many items that tell the history of the object itself and evidence of the person that used it. These include a tea flask used during 1916 that bears the fingerprints of its owner and a felt hat worn by James Connolly that carries the trajectory marks of a passing bullet.

As with all objects related to turbulent times; the fire arms, incendiary devices and printed manifestos of the 'peoples collection' have deteriorated and require conservation in order to stabilise them. The film examines the vocabulary used by museum conservators to describe different types of deterioration. Ironically words such as blistering and weeping are also used to describe injuries to the human body, injuries that could well have been inflicted by the artefacts that are being conserved.

The second video work focuses on the hands of conservator Hannah Power as she carefully attends to the body of a rifle.  This representation of conservation asks us to examine the juxtaposition of the delicacy of the work of the conservator with the violence inherent in the gun itself.

Shown alongside this footage are a set of folded aluminium structures, interspersed with objects fabricated from modelling clay, ballistic gels and soaps which are used by museum professionals and police departments to simulate how human flesh reacts to trauma caused by the penetration of fire arm or blade.  Amongst those items are a set of pinched sculptures, moulded through the heat of the hand, bearing its fingerprints - exploiting the plastic memory of physiotherapy putty and resistance bands – referencing the human body and its relation to the inanimate material.

The LAB Gallery brought to you by Dublin City Councils Arts Office is pleased to present:

‘Amazement Insulates Us All/Memento Vivere’

Damien Doyle and George Bolster.

20 November to 16 January

The LAB Gallery in association with First Fortnight is proud to present Amazement Insulates Us All/Memento Vivere, an exhibition featuring works by Damien Doyle and George Bolster. Their discussions about art over many years informed their art practice. Doyle’s death in 2010 was a huge personal loss to Bolster who has sought to make sense of it through a number of his text based works. The central conceit of the exhibition, drawn from a piece by Bolster called self erosion, examines the shared lives and experiences of two artists and assesses their collective motivation for being cultural producers, as well as their mutual history of depression.

Amazement Insulates Us All/Memento Vivere features a selection of sculptures by Doyle and Bolster. Doyle’s sculptures/installations range throughout his short career as an artist. They employ everyday, often industrially produced elements. Seemingly functional and recognizable, the sculptures deliberately obfuscate meaning. Doyle felt this disassociation allowed the audience to engage with pure form. Viewers are often left confused as to whether these objects were accidentally left in the gallery by specialised workers, or are actual artworks. Doyle revelled in this duality of intentioned representation and it’s uncanny results. He sought to create a purely visual experience, even though his work uses the language of conceptual art, and the kind of symmetry of line only seen in mass objects produced by machines.

There is a potent contrast between the text works by Bolster in confessional simplistic meaning and the austerity of seemingly impenetrable industrial minimalism of Doyle’s mass-produced forms. This exhibition provides an opportunity for Bolster to combine his art and curatorial practice and is accompanied by an essay by Sara Reisman, Artistic Director of the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation in New York City. 


Laura Ni Fhlaibhin

20 November 2015 to 16 January 2016

The LAB is pleased to present new work by Laura Ni Fhlaibhin, an emerging Irish artist based in Seoul.

Lamellae refer to striations, shock lines, embedded into rock-particularly quartz, after a violent impact. These shock lamellae are geologically irreversible and only occur after intense force such as meteor impact. This work is situated in the aftermath of a catastrophic impact, investigating the psychological and physical ruptures that occur at the site of trauma. The effects of shock, on the human and the inanimate object, are a central concern in Ni Fhliabhin’s work.

An ambiguous survivor, a witness, to the impact, is imagined as the maker, the producer of the work. The survivor lives in a state of post-traumatic stress, an individual now a stranger in a new form.  Making is regarded as an effort to comprehend, to remember, to repeat the violence of impact, to go on in the aftermath of transformation. Making is viewed as an attempt to protect oneself, to construct a defence against such an incomprehensible deviation. Chris Marker’s  ‘La Jeteé ‘ is referenced; ‘to ensure the future is better protected than the past.’ The maker mythologises the objects to the status of the sacred; a fragment of quartz is strapped to an upward-reaching tube, shard of lifebuoy is encased in fiberglass and elevated upwards too. The lifebuoy teeters atop a three-legged construct, part shelter and part monument. Safety rope and seatbelts are unwoven. Objects have been pushed from their function, to hang as if from a different species.

The cause of impact is unsaid; it is circled around, paced around. We have invited curator and writer Hilary Murray to respond to the work.


For more information

Dublin City Council
Arts Office 
The Lab
Foley Street
Dublin 1
D01 N5H6

Tel: (01) 222 5455

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