Derek Jarman, PROTEST!
Nov 15 2019 - Feb 23 2020
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Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Military Road, Dublin 8, Dublin,
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A major retrospective of the work of one of the most influential figures in 20th century British culture, Derek Jarman, the first in over 20 years.
PROTEST! is a major retrospective of the work of acclaimed British artist and filmmaker Derek Jarman (1942-1994), marking 25 years since his death. While addressing Jarman’s important contribution to film, this exhibition will focus on his wider practice as a painter, writer, set-designer, gardener and political activist. This is the first time that these diverse strands of his practice have been brought together in over 20 years.
PROTEST! captures Jarman’s engagement with both art and society, as well as his contemporary concerns with political protest and personal freedoms arising from the AIDS crisis. Major bodies of work, from the 1960s to the 1990s, have been gathered together; many of which have never been seen in public before.
Highlights include a group of seven costumes designed by Oscar-winning costume designer Sandy Powell. While collaboration was at the heart of Jarman’s practice it also highlights his status as an incubator of young talent. Figures such as Tilda Swinton, Toyah Wilcox, Joanna Hogg, Sean Bean and John Maybury had their first opportunities under Jarman’s direction.
Early paintings showing Jarman’s rapid stylistic evolution, with some 30 of these previously unknown.
The showing of his films including ‘Sebastiane’ (1976), ‘Jubilee’ (1978), ‘Caravaggio’ (1986), ‘War Requiem’ (1989) and Blue (1993).
Jarman made music videos at a time when the medium was in its infancy. His collaborators included figures like The Smiths, Marianne Faithful, Bob Geldof, Marc Almond, Pet Shop Boys and Suede.
At the end of 1986 Jarman was diagnosed as HIV-positive. AIDS was then a fatal, non-treatable disease which the tabloid press described as a plague. This diagnosis transformed Jarman’s practice and led to a new kind of activism as he worked to raise awareness of AIDS. In the early 90s Jarman produced a series of large paintings that used tabloid newspapers concerning 'AIDS Panic'.
Jarman’s diagnosis coincided with a move to Prospect Cottage in Dungeness, Kent, which is over shadowed by the Dungeness nuclear power station. Here he created a unique and highly-regarded garden, the site of his film ‘The Garden’ (1990) and book ‘Derek Jarman’s Garden’ (1995).
Derek Jarman, PROTEST! is organized by IMMA, Dublin, in partnership with Manchester Art Gallery, and is accompanied by additional projects at VOID, Derry and John Hansard Gallery, Southampton.