Willie Doherty

19 May - 2 September 2007

Installation view

With two complementary exhibitions the Hamburg Kunstverein and the Lenbachhaus Munich give a representative showing of Willie Doherty’s (*1959 in Derry, Northern Ireland) slide installations and videos from the early 1990s to the present day. In his single- and multi-channel videos, Doherty offers political and aesthetic images of Ireland that challenge widespread misconceptions of pristine natural landscapes as well as biased coverage of the Northern Ireland conflict. His concern is not so much to tie down events and interpretations as to pinpoint archetypal features. The traces of conflict that the videos capture - for instance deserted and wrecked buildings, or roadblocks - are always viewed ambivalently, both as provocation for and as the consequence of actions. Doherty's works have a remarkable ability to reach out beyond the specifically Northern Irish conflict and deal with general topics such as the surveillance of public space, mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion, and national and religious conflicts. The ambiguity in his works implicates the viewer at a level that is not only emotional but also intellectual, and reveals that those fears of possible violence and the paranoiac projections vis-รก-vis the supposedly strange and unfamiliar are by no means confined to Northern Ireland.

Supported by Culture Ireland and University of Ulster
A catalogue has been published.