Death and Sensuality

Death and Sensuality

Death and Sensuality: A group exhibition

Artists: Nina Amazing, Roisin Byrne, Alan Butler, Benjamin DeBurca, Breda Lynch, James McCann, Leo McCann, Tom Molloy, Not Abel and Alan Phelan

Born in California, Jim Ricks received his MFA from the National University of Ireland, Galway and Burren College of Art programme and his BFA from the California College of the Arts.

Ricks has exhibited nationally and internationally.  Recently he presented the touring public work Poulnabrone Bouncy Dolmen. He has also received the Artlink ‘New Art Award’; exhibited at the Royal Hibernian Academy (Dublin); had solo shows at Fort Dunree (Co. Donegal), Occupy Space (Limerick) and Pallas Contemporary Projects (Dublin); took part in group shows with Dock Discourse at 126 and offsite (Galway), The Galway Arts Festival (Galway), Monster Truck Temple Bar (Dublin) and Pallas Contemporary Projects (Dublin), Galway Arts Centre (Galway), Monster Truck Gallery (Dublin), IMOCA (Dublin) and participated in Frieze Projects’ COPYSTAND: Autonomous Manufacturing Zone (London).  In addition, Ricks was chairperson and curator of 126, an artist-run gallery (Galway) from 2007 – 2009, manages Engage Art Studios (Galway) and has organised and curated numerous other exhibitions.

Ricks is currently working on In Search of the Truth (The Truth Booth), a collaboration with Cause Collective (US) in 2011.



Death and Sensuality: A group exhibition, curated by Jim Ricks

A group exhibition with: Nina Amazing, Roisin Byrne, Alan Butler, Benjamin DeBurca, Breda Lynch, James McCann, Leo McCann, Tom Molloy, Not Abel and Alan Phelan.  Curated by Jim Ricks.

Death and Sensuality is a diverse group exhibition of contemporary Irish artists appropriating sex and violence.  It is organised and curated by Jim Ricks, a native Californian and artist residing in Ireland for the last 6 years.  The curatorial project looks to the politics of sex and violence in the work of contemporary Irish artists working with appropriation. 

“...In essence, the domain of eroticism is the domain of violence, of violation… What does physical eroticism signify if not a violation of the very being of its practitioners – a violation bordering on death, bordering on murder?”

            – Georges Bataille, Eroticism: Death and Sensuality

This group exhibition is an ambitious representation of contemporary Irish culture highlighting a range of mediums, artists and new work dealing explicitly with appropriation and contemporary social issues.  The notion of the taboo, the undercurrents of violence and abuse, as well as the erotic, in both current events and history are investigated by Irish artists. This is achieved through re-working, re-producing and re-contextualising the ‘indisputable’ appropriated image and object.   The result is a diverse exhibition of installation, collage, video, painting and drawing.

“Cells lurking deep in the mouse hypothalamus help determine whether it fights or mates.”

            – Ewen Callaway, Nature News

Although the works are informed from an Irish and ostensibly post-colonial perspective, they don’t relate exclusively to Ireland. In this exhibition a dark and intrepid gaze at sex and its connection to violence begins via well-know tangled Irish pasts with the Catholic church, the Troubles and British colonialism, but also quickly opens up to faith, resistance and subjugation generally.  As such, foreign and domestic concerns are explored. At times this is achieved directly and unflinchingly, and at others strangely, tangentially and perversely.

Locations & Dates

Start Date – End Date

312 Valencia Street, San Francisco, California, 94103

November 04 – December 03