Following his first major exhibition in Dublin at IMMA in 2014, IMMA presents a new film work by Irish-born artist Duncan Campbell. Entitled The Welfare of Tomás Ó Hallissy this is the artist’s first film based in the Republic of Ireland and his first new work since winning the Turner Prize in 2014; when he was the first Irish born artist to do so.
Originating from research undertaken in the IFI Irish Film Archive, Campbell’s new film commission takes as a starting point a 1960’s UCLA anthropological film study of rural Kerry to investigate and reframe contemporary Ireland.
Conor Dowling talks to Duncan about the genesis of the project and the research that underpins the work.
The Welfare of Tomás Ó Hallissy screens at IMMA until 7th May 2017
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About the artist
Duncan Campbell (b.1972 in Dublin, Ireland) lives and works in Glasgow. He is best known for his films which focus on particular moments in history, and the people and objects at the centre of those histories. He uses archive material as a route to research subjects and histories that he feels are important. The process of making the films becomes a means to further understand his subjects and reveal the complexity of how they have been previously represented. Although these histories are located in specific times and geographies they resonate with and inform our present. Extensive research into the subjects through archival material underpins all of the films and the histories Campbell chooses to focus on reflect his interest. Using both archival and filmed material, his films question our reading of the documentary form as a fixed representation of reality, opening up boundaries between the actual and the imagined, record and interpretation.
He completed the MFA at Glasgow School of Art in 1998 and a BA in Fine Art at the University of Ulster in 1996. Campbell was the winner of the 2014 Turner Prize (Duncan Campbell, Ciara Phillips, James Richards, Tris Vonna-Michell) and was one of three artists representing Scotland at the Venice Biennale as part of Scotland + Venice 2013 (Corin Sworn, Campbell, Hayley Tompkins). In 2012 Campbell took part in Manifesta 9 curated by Cuauhtémoc Medina, Katerina Gregos and Dawn Ades, Belgium and in 2010 he took part in Tracing the Invisible, Gwangju Biennale. In 2017, Wiels, Brussels will host a solo exhibition on Duncan Campbell.