JIM RICKS



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Bubblewrap Game: Hugh Lane
With works by Raphael Zarka, Gerard Dillon, Nazzareno Cipriani, Robert Ballagh, Amanda De Leon, James Hanley, Frank Wasser, and Daniel French.
Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane
31 October 2013 – 19 January 2014

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hugh lane
Image Credit: SIR HUGH LANE PRODUCING MASTERPIECES FOR DUBLIN, 1909, Ink and pencil on paper, 43.7 × 37.3 cm, By SIR MAX BEERBOHM

Jim Ricks’s installation for the Sleepwalkers series, Bubblewrap Game: Hugh Lane, presents a diverse collection of objects – including paintings from the Hugh Lane’s collection, borrowed works and flea-market kitsch – all displayed on an equal level. There is no judgment made on the respective cultural, aesthetic, historical or market worth of each object. Yet each is linked to the next on a single shelf in a circumnavigation of the curved oval shaped walls in Gallery 8 at The Hugh Lane. Here Ricks reflects his ongoing interest in ideas about the symbolic and monetary value of property.

This combination of diverse objects set side by side to create new meanings can be seen as a form of collage. The artist has called this method ‘Synchromaterialism’. The trail of objects can be followed in either direction around the curved room with no fixed starting point. This creates a loop that Ricks, citing Karl Marx, sees as historical narrative repeating “first as tragedy and then as farce”. Viewers are invited to create their own narratives and connections between the objects on display.

Jim Ricks is interested in pushing acceptable notions of a hybridized art/curatorial practice while simultaneously dissolving normally accepted hierarchies. Working in a collage format, the artist utilises appropriation (challenges to ownership and authorship) and sees curation as a logical extension of that. The result creates a new form not likely within the current lexicon of art terminology that can be seen as both an expansion of art history but also a negation of it.

For Bubblewrap Game Ricks has included work from The Hugh Lane collections by artists such as Gerard Dillon and James Barry, as well as works on loan from artists including Raphael Zarka and James Hanley. The artist’s use of appropriation – taking existing objects or artworks to make new work – can also be interpreted as piracy, repurposing or misuse.

Jim Ricks studied at the National University of Ireland, Galway/Burren College of Art and the California College of the Arts. Originally from California, he has lived in Ireland for 8 years and currently has a studio in Temple Bar Gallery & Studios. Ricks was selected for Futures 12 at the Royal Hibernian Academy in 2012. In the last two years Ricks has created and toured the popular public work the Poulnabrone Bouncy Dolmen. Alongside his own exhibitions he has curated shows in Dublin, London, Galway and San Francisco. As a member of Cause Collective he recently toured to Afghanistan with the collaborative project: In Search of the Truth (The Truth Booth).

Sleepwalkers is an ongoing project in which six artists – Clodagh Emoe, Jim Ricks, Sean Lynch, Linda Quinlan, Lee Welch and Gavin Murphy – have collectively used the gallery as a place for research. The first phase attempted to reveal the process of conceiving an exhibition by the display of work and ideas in progress. This process results in each artist developing a solo exhibition at The Hugh Lane.

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Influenced by, borrowed works from and copies of Ed Ruscha, Najeebullah Najeeb, Raphael Zarka, Leon Golub, Pablo Picasso, Gerard Dillion, Nazzareno Cipriani, Robert Ballagh, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Francis Bacon, Roger Fenton, Kazimir Malevich, Amanda De Leon, RiFF RAFF, Marcel Duchamp, James Hanley, Frank Wasser, Daniel French, Katsu, ASCO, Cheryl Dunn, Mark Gonzalez, Tom Molloy, Robert Capa, The Cure, Diego Rivera, Susan Sontag, and The Simpsons.

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Entrance and installation view. The painting in the centre is a replica of Ed Ruscha's LACMA on Fire that I commissioned in Kabul, Afghanistan. Watch me try to explain the piece to the painter Najeebullah Najeeb here.

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