- 26 January 2022
Temple Bar Gallery + Studios presents Barbara Knežević’s Deep time empaths, offsite at Chatham and King, Chatham Street.
Barbara Knežević’s large sculpture, Deep time empaths, uses the material language and colour palette of construction sites to create an empathetic and affective response to materials usually considered secondary, detritus, or junk.
A scaffold is assembled into a large skeletal frame, it holds everything together. Materials, such as resin, tarpaulin, steel, plastic, cord, clay, concrete and pallets are put into contact with soothing handmade elements. Surfaces are decorated through sewing, cording, knotting. Limbs adorned with ceramic armour. Safety harnesses are strung beside resin moulded sculptures. Their jelly-like translucency evokes the remnants of fleshy innards, or perhaps, prophetic of fossilised plastics conceivable in our future geology. A vibrant tarpaulin hangs as a scenographic backdrop. Its centre a hole that mirrors the building’s overhead beams. It manifests the atmosphere of a staging. Cloaked in beauty. Battered and glimmering, Deep time empaths appears as a makeshift animal-hybrid sculpture, an anthropomorphic creature occupying this space.
Knežević’s methods of combining the hand made and hand constructed with materials that are often easily discarded nurtures a sense of care. It places such materials back in the proximity of touch, transformation and attention. It speaks to their mineral and vegetal origins and the inherent complexities bound up in the exploitation of the earth. Through the language of sculpture and her engagement with these materials, Knežević questions our behaviours in instrumentalising them – liberally taking them from the ground and discarding them as though they are disposable.
Deep time empaths calls for a different sort of engagement with materials. One that is embodied and experienced in the space. It asks for a deeper consideration of materials, their origins, futures and pasts that we often overlook. An affective and emotional engagement with these materials is opened for audiences, in a site-responsive sculpture that strives to bring attention to the possibility of reconsidering the relation we have with materials and their ecological politics in particular. This politics of care and the empathy for materials takes on a resonant note in the context of a new commercial building in the centre of Dublin.
Barbara Knežević’s Deep time empaths is curated by Temple Bar Gallery + Studios and supported by Hines.
Barbara Knežević works primarily in sculpture, creating formations that combine handmade and industrial objects, plants, fabrics, ceramics and moving images. These concentrated sculptural arrangements distil and amplify the qualities and affect of the objects they engage with, repeating and calling attention to texture, colour, opacity, pattern or other haptic, sensual qualities. Barbara Knežević’s work explores the potential for sculptural artworks to engage in forms of worlding; creating affect, producing feeling, generating emotive and pleasurable states. Her sculptural concentrations explore the intra-action between materials, objects, viewer and space and propose the potential of artworks as zones for joyfulness, close attention and pleasure, and as ways to reimagine and reconsider ways of being.
Barbara Knežević is an artist and educator living and working in Dublin. Recent exhibitions include Pleasure ‘scapes, RHA Dublin; Woman in the Machine, VISUAL Carlow; Immurement, STATION Gallery Melbourne; The MAC, Belfast; Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, Dublin; EKKM, Tallinn; Gallery Augusta, Helsinki; HIAP, Helsinki. She has been commissioned for public art projects at the GPO Dublin, (2016), Cabra Library, Dublin (2020) and a major per cent for art project called ‘Collective Energy’ at Kingswood Community College, Dublin (2020). Her work features in national and private collections such as the Irish Museum of Modern Art and the Arts Council of Ireland.
Temple Bar Gallery + Studios is a leading artists’ studio complex and contemporary art gallery in Dublin City Centre. A centre for creativity in the capital, Temple Bar Gallery + Studios provide a place for artists to thrive and ways for the public to experience contemporary art. Founded in 1983 - by artists, for artists.
Hines has been a leader in investment and development since 1957. Hines works to benefit people and communities by investing in, developing, and managing buildings that create a vibrant sense of place. We believe that great buildings prioritise people, communities and our planet. Hines is recognised by GRESB for its sustainability leadership and seen as a global ESG leader in the industry’s GRESB ranking.