The 2021 PhotoIreland Festival: Bite the Hand that Feeds You
The 12th iteration of the PhotoIreland Festival focused on food. On the ability to sustain, to nourish, oneself and others—to question the present systems that sustain us. There is power in how we feed ourselves, with food being the cornerstone of cultures, ideologies, and principles. Eating or not eating can be an act of protest, feeding or not feeding — an act of control; food brings people together and pushes them apart. Through the presentation of current work and commissions, the 2021 PhotoIreland Festival brought together local and international audiences and selected artists explored this contentious, yet every day, topic.
The topics of exhibitions ranged from hospitality to colonization, from hunger to overconsumption, trauma to technology, ethics to ideologies, to sustainability, and even surveillance capitalism. The program and archive does not claim an all-encompassing representation of food related issues, but is intended as a way to invoke specific questions, ideas, and research; it addressed considerations towards a conscious and informed consumption.
We welcome you to the digital archive of this festival. We invite you to take a seat at our table and join the conversation on the politics and poetics of food.
Key Dates, Events and Locations
- Festival Launch: July 2nd
- Overall Festival Dates: July 1st- July 31st, 2021
- Artists Talk Series: July 14th, 21st, and 28th
- Primary Location(s): Online via Zoom, Project Arts Centre, The Library Project, and Rathfarnham Castle
- Other locations for events, exhibitions, and FIE affiliated festival activities: The Library Project, SO Fine Art Editions, Lismore Castle Arts, Co. Waterford, Rua Red, Dublin,The Glucksman, Co. Cork, Crawford Art Gallery, Co. Cork, Solstice Arts Centre, Co. Meath, Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin, The Darkroom, Dublin.
The nature of the PhotoIreland Festival is defined by its plasticity, not its rigidity. Meaning, the format of the festival adapts and changes yearly in by its inclusions and in its nature. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, this festival took place in a hybrid format. For the month of July, PhotoIreland Festival brought together a programme presenting traditional and contemporary lens-based practices, alongside film and performance, serving a cornucopia of engaging and relevant material — with many works never seen before in Ireland — through exhibitions, talks, and an online critical cooking channel! Highlights include four main exhibitions, four featured exhibitions, twelve events/shows as a part of the Open Programme, and the launch of Issue 2 of the Over Journal, PhotoIreland’s own critical photography anthology.
- “Milky Way” (Hertta Kiiski and guide from Roisin White): Milky Way addressed the topic of animals treated as milk-producing machines. The human urge to achieve domination over other species crystallizes in the act of long-distance transport of unweaned calves. Despite its heart-breaking starting point, the work dealt with love and hope for a better future. In response to Hertta Kiiski’s Milky Way installation, Dublin based visual artist Róisín White created an exhibition guide aimed at our younger visitors to investigate and navigate the artwork.
- “Bite the Hand That Feeds You”: A collective exhibit that highlighted many Irish and international artists, this exhibit uses photography and multimedia art as a tool to speak upon and comment on overconsumption, ethical dilemmas, consequences, production, and human-animal relationships.
- “Monsanto: A Photographic Investigation” (Mathieu Asselin): A documentation on Monsanto’s® dozens of Superfund sites (large contaminated sites of high priority for the US Environmental Protection Agency) across the United States affecting hundreds of communities and their environment with terrifying health and ecological consequences.
- “The Reading Room”: Presented in the mezzanine library space of The Library Project, the festival showcased a number of Photobooks from the PhotoIreland Collection, related to the topic of food, as well as some resource materials from the festival curator’s personal collection.
- “HOME” at The Glucksman, University College Cork, T12 V1WH
- “SYSTEMS” at Online and in print from the Science Gallery Dublin
- “How to Kill Something That Doesn’t Exist” at The Darkroom, 32 North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7
- “Tomorrow is Sunday” at RHA Gallery, 15 Ely Place, D02 A213, Dublin
- The annual Open Programme offered artists, photographers, curators, and organizations the opportunity to put forward events and join the festival celebrations. Without any requirement to fit a theme, it was a chance to discover and showcase a wide variety of practices developing in Ireland.
Educational Programming and Events
2021’s engaging talks, curatorial and artists tours, and many other events
- Main Events: Critical Recipes Cooking Channel, Artist Talks, and Artist Films Screenings
- More Events: Experimenting with Photography workshop and The Reading Room
- Over Journal Issue 2 Launch
- Cover reveal, presentation, and launch (pre-orders became available)
- OVER Journal critically focuses on aspects often overlooked that affect the discipline. It is about preventing the repetition of obsolete and flawed structures, as much as highlighting the work of those who constructively are expanding what we still call Photography into new horizons.
- Limited Publication Launch: “Bite The Hand That Feeds You”: Published on the occasion of the twelfth edition of PhotoIreland Festival, this limited edition publication will present a record and reflection of the month-long programme of events. In addition, readers will find exclusive texts and work, expanding on the conversations had during the festival. We invited a number of contributors to reflect on the theme of the festival and some of the artists presented.
PhotoIreland Festival 2021
Milky Way, Project Arts Centre 1-4 July.
Bite The Hand That Feeds You, Alan Phelan, Dániel Szalai, Gê Viana, Hans van der Meer, Hertta Kiiski, Ksenia Yurkova, and Sheng-Wen Lo
Monsanto: A Photographic Investigation, Mathieu Asselin and Sergio Valenzuela Escobedo, The Library Project, 1-31 July.
The Reading Room, The Library Project, 1-31 July
aemi Artist Film Screening starts, at aemi.ie
Artist Films Screening in collaboration with aemi (artists and experimental moving image)
OVER Journal issue 2 launch
6pm Fri 2 July — PhotoIreland Festival Launch with Hertta Kiiski
1pm Wed 7 July — Dániel Szalai and David Hunt
1pm Wed 14 July — Hans van der Meer, Niall Sargent, and Sinéad Moran
8pm Wed 14 July — aemi and Kevin Gaffney
2pm Sun 18 July — Dorothy Cashman
1pm Wed 21 July — Mathieu Asselin and Sergio Valenzuela Escobedo
2pm Sun 25 July — Reading Group: Ksenia Yurkova and Corina Apostol
1pm Wed 28 July — Sheng-Wen Lo and Maria Delaney
Critical Recipes Cooking Channel
Sat 3 Jul — Jennie Moran and Aoibhinn O’Dea
10am Sat 10 July — April Gertler
6pm Sat 17 July — Deirdre O’Mahony
6pm Sat 17 July — Fiona Hallinan
6pm Sat 24 July — The Center for Genomic Gastronomy
6pm Sat 31 July — Ana Núñez Rodríguez
Main Exhibitions: Alan Phelan, Ana Núñez Rodríguez April Gertler, Bryony Dunne, Dániel Szalai, Deirdre O’Mahony, Fiona Hallinan, Gê Viana, Greta Alfaro, Hans van der Meer, Hertta Kiiski, Jennie Moran, Jennifer Mehigan, Kevin Gaffney, Ksenia Yurkova, Lana May Fleming, Mary Lelo Thebe, Mathieu Asselin, Róisín White, Sheng-Wen Lo, The Center for Genomic Gastronomy, Vicki Thornton, and Viktoria Schmid
Featured Exhibitions: Amanda Rice, Brian Duggan, Ciara Roche, David Thomas Smith, Doireann Ní Ghrioghair, Dorje de Burgh, Eileen Hutton, Evan Roth, Ingrid Burrington, James L. Hayes, Joana Moll, Julia Pallone, Julie Merriman, Kathy Tynan, Kerry Guinan, Mario Santander, Martin Boyle, Mieke Vanmechelen, Miriam O’Connor, Multiplay, Patricia Pisanelli, Paul O’Neill & Ann Kiernan, Pip Thornton, Sara Baume, Sarah Grant, Sinéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Tega Brain & Julian Oliver, Tinka Bechert, Treasa O’Brien, Vladan Joler & Kate Crawford, and Vukašin Nedeljković.
Open Programme: Aarif Amod, Adriano Elise, Aisling Roche, Alison Revell-Huntley, Andrew Dowling, Andrew O’Connell, Aoife Claffrey, Caitriona Osbourne, Cathal Doran, Claire Murphy, Clare Balfe, Corinna Nolan, David Ian Bickley, David Ross, Fiona Power, Fionn McGinley, Giulia Berto, Graham Monaghan-Revell, Ida Mitrani, Irene Gaspari, Iryna Baklan, Jackie Owen, James Murphy, Jamie Ashforth, Jasmin Doyle, Jessica Byrne, Joanne Betty Conlon, Johanna Love, John Blake, Justyna Musialska, Karen Densham, Kate McElroy, Kate Swift, Letizia Lopreiato, Marcelo Biglia, Mark Shaw, Martin Newth, Martina Coyle, ME-WE, Mella Travers, Niamh Hannaford, Niamh McGuinne, Nick Pearson, Padraic Barrett, Patricia Amsjah, Peter Molloy, Rebecca Bradley, Reddy O’Regan, Rose Ugoalah, Sandy Kennedy, Sarah Deane, Sebastian F. Mahon, Sharon Beavan, Shona Connolly, Sinead Barrett, Sinead Curran, Stephane Bruchet, Steven Doyle, Tara Carroll, Terry Bond, Tom Weld, Wendy Judge, and William Bock.
Ángel Luis González – Director & Curator
Julia Gelezova – General Manager
Guided Activity: https://2021.photoireland.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Young_Milky_Way_Explorers-PIF2021.pdf
Critical Recipes Channel: https://2021.photoireland.org/main-events/critical-recipes/
Limited Collection: https://2021.photoireland.org/pre-order/
Over Issue 2: https://overjournal.org/
There is power in how we feed ourselves, with food being the cornerstone of cultures, ideologies, and principles. Eating or not eating can be an act of protest, feeding or not feeding — an act of control; food brings people together and pushes them apart. Through the presentation of current work and commissions, this year PhotoIreland Festival brings to local and international audiences selected artists exploring this contentious, yet every day, topic.
Taking its cue from current conflicts and affairs, the festival generates a discussion around complex social and global issues, with topics ranging from hospitality to colonisation, from hunger to overconsumption, trauma to technology, ethics to ideologies, to sustainability, and even surveillance capitalism. The programme does not claim an all-encompassing representation of food related issues, but is intended as a way to invoke specific questions, ideas, and research; it brings forth questions and considerations towards a conscious and informed consumption. We invite the audience to take a seat at our table and join the conversation on the politics and poetics of food.
For the month of July, PhotoIreland Festival brings together a programme presenting traditional and contemporary lens-based practices, alongside film and performance, serving a cornucopia of engaging and relevant material — with many works never seen before in Ireland — through exhibitions, talks, and an online critical cooking channel!