New terrains
‘Northern Irish art’ in the wider world
in Ghost-haunted land
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This chapter considers some of the ways in which the representation of art from Northern Ireland can be seen in light of the wider contexts of production and distribution. The contingencies of the contemporary world provide the essential context for art, while also determining its questioning content and precarious forms. Northern Ireland's Venice 2005 exhibition The Nature of Things was a venture into 'new terrain'. The chapter looks at the aspects and implications of the art chosen for The Nature of Things by addressing in some detail the work of two artists, William McKeown and Darren Murray. The particular content of Murray's paintings can just as easily be drawn from the translation of these high-cultural visual vocabularies into low-cultural languages. The 'discernible drift' from the local, Murphy argues, 'goes against the grain of critical voices insisting on the centrality of Irishness as a marker of value in contemporary art practice'.

Ghost-haunted land

Contemporary art and post-Troubles Northern Ireland


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