Ella de Búrca

ArtBox Gallery,

James Joyce Street

Dublin 1


Preview: Thursday, February 5th, 2015

Exhibition Dates: February 6th – March 14th, 2015




she stands still as a spectator. (Y stops.)

we survey her as an object,

and still,

surveying a spectator surveying an object

-she knows it.

(to Y) you shouldn’t know that.

she giggles. (Y giggles.)

her body is a conduit.

taking a long hard stare at the painting nearest the door,

she slowly raises her warm arm to point her trigger finger at it.

Y: (as if remembering someone’s name.) one?


You can write about the present as long as you like, it will always read flat. Fluidity preserves in the unwritten, only. The viscera of a moment is translated into history through the medium of text. All information, all knowledge, is communicated through positive and negative imprints.

Likewise, this text.


“Each one of us is, successively, not one but many. And these successive personalities… tend to present the strangest, most astonishing contrasts.” ¹


The trail of Roger Casement, hero, traitor, martyr, pervert; (who he is is who he is to you) led de Burca to Iquitos, Peru where Casement’s humanitarian work had ended the savage reign of the Anglo-Peruvian Rubber company. After decades of widespread rape, torture and usury at the hands of unchecked capitalism, the indigenous culture had been all but erased. A century later, globalised capitalism has wreaked similar decay upon the monuments that those rubber barons built to themselves.


The same process is evident in Dublin, where the monumental Georgian buildings constructed over the bones of a crushed culture are themselves being erased by the amorphous drive of global capitalism. That which once represented our oppression now represents our heritage. In order to decide what we are, it is first necessary discover what we are not.


De Burca uses the physicality of the GOBO² to present sculptural works sparked by architectures role in communal identity. Working through film, photography, text and sculpture, the negative is framed as being as much a part of our identity than the positive.


“The labor of the negative, she sighed, and the whole mad scheme unplanned as if i were there all along with the invention of the state, the form within the form with its danger and with its decay too, underbelly of stately prowess and sanitised rigidity.

Only people with a superb talent for the theatre could pull this off. And you too could be part of this. After all, it touches everyone of us” ³

1. José Enrique Rodó

2. A negative template placed in front of projected light, creating a positive image on a flat surface. The invert, the intermediary, the fence.

3. The Magic of the State. Michael Taussig.


This exhibition is curated by ArtBox Director, Dr. Hilary Murray.


GOBO includes the performance of /portals/

Starring Aine Ní Laoghaire, Jill Harding and Bob Kelly. Written by Ella de Búrca.

/portals/ will take place at ArtBox on February 13th and 14th.

Booking is required.



Ella de Búrca, recent exhibitions include ‘Otherwise’ WYSPA Gdansk, July 2014, ‘Slow Future’ Museum of Contemporary Art CSW Warsaw, June 2014, ‘Crampographies,’ KW Institute for Contemporary Art 2014, ‘Must Go On’ RuaRed, Dublin 2014,  ‘Dis-Placement’ The Mission Gallery, Chicago 2014, ‘Rebuilding Utopia’ The Emergency Pavilion at The 53rd Venice Biennale 2013, ‘Playing Nature,’ at The 5th Moscow Biennale September 2014, ‘Haha Harcourt Road’ ArtLot Dublin 2013, and ‘Illuminating Kunstholes’ at Coffre-Fort, Brussels, Belgium, 2013. De Burca was the recipient of the Evelyn Wood Memorial Award (The Banff Centre) in 2011, as well as the Amharc Fhinne Ghall Award (Fingal County Council) in 2010.

In 2013 de Burca was awarded an exhibition grant by Culture Ireland and Fingal County Council for The Moscow Biennale. In 2014 de Burca was awarded an Arts Council Bursary from The Irish Arts Council.



Ella de Búrca would like to thank Fingal County Council for facilitating the production of GOBO.



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