Still from Adrian O'Connell's Library

Forty artists from seventy six countries feature in this year’s biennale, united by three key themes: an interest in the physical structure of the world (mostly in response to post building boom Ireland), an exploration of the weight of art history and a fascination with the idea of society on the verge of anarchy.

Sanja Iveković has strewn scrumpled red papers throughout both main venues. The printed text, a report on violence against women, rustles underfoot with a message that is both subtle and unavoidable. Sculpture by Anibal Catalan and painting by Mark O’Kelly stand out in an exhibition dominated by strong video work. Heywon Kwon’s five minute film and Adrian O’Connell’s exhilarating video installation, Library, are highlights of the show.

Pilvi Takala explores how people react when work-place conventions are broken, Kate Davis reworks Velazquez’s seventeenth century Rokeby Venus in a series of digital prints, while Ailbhe Ni Bhrian’s superb digital video compositions combine all three of the show’s main concerns, in particular the ever-present potential for chaos.

Cristín Leach Hughes

EVA International is at Limerick City Gallery of Art, 103–104 O’Connell Street and other locations and venues across the city from 19 May to 12 August 2012.

To WATCH my report on EVA International for RTE Television’s The Works here, click on episode 7 June 2012.

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