George Bolster

Communication: We Are Not The Only Ones Talking...
an exhibition by George Bolster.

7 January to 11 February

The opening event, a gallery conversation between the artist George Bolster and Seán Kissane, Curator of Exhibitions at IMMA, takes place on Saturday 7 January at 12 noon. All welcome.

George Bolster was interviewed by Marc O'Sulivan Vallig for the Irish Examiner, you can read it here:​

New York-based, multi-disciplinary artist George Bolster combines science, science fiction and art history to explore the challenges we face as a sustainable society and as a sustainable species with a future on this planet. In Communication: We Are Not The Only Ones Talking… he examines language and the possibilities of understanding both other life forms on earth and signals from earth like planets. His discussions with NASA scientists; astronomers from the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute; and biologists from the Alaska Whale Foundation have informed the works throughout this exhibition. The discovery of syntax (complex language) in humpback whales and bottlenose dolphins has foregrounded questions of how we interact with other species and how we readdress our place in both nature and evolution. 

Following on from research conducted while artist in residence at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute (SETI), Bolster is fascinated by the discovery of over 5,000 planets by the NASA Kepler mission and other projects, and our potential ability to understand non-human languages on this planet, which may help in deciphering signals from other planets in the Milky Way. The SETI Institute proposes that if we manage to communicate with other forms of terrestrial life, we may be able to communicate with life on other planets. This has a multitude of meanings for the future of our species.

George Bolster is an Irish multidisciplinary artist who lives and works in New York City. He has exhibited at numerous museums and galleries internationally. Through oppositional narratives, his work addresses ideas and belief systems from multiple perspectives, using a combination of science, art history, and science fiction to examine our most pressing societal and species-wide challenges.

His recent solo exhibitions include: Tearing at the Fabric of Your Reality, Ulterior gallery, NYC, USA; You Are Made of Stardust, Solstice Arts Centre, Navan, Meath, Ireland; Tatooine: Sci-Fi Becoming Fact, Sirius Arts Centre, Cork, Ireland; Towards A Universal Sublime, Bratislava, Slovakia (2018); Amazement Insulates Us All, Memento Vivere, The Lab, Dublin, Ireland (2015); Un/natural History: Drowning Captiva, Nuit Blanche, Toronto, Canada (2014). His recent group exhibitions include: RHA 190, RHA, Dublin, Ireland; Traveling to the End, MMCA, Seoul, Korea (2019); Music +Maker, Solstice Arts Centre, Navan, Ireland (2019); In The Future, Collyer Bristow Gallery, London, UK (2018); Making Contact: SETI Artists in Residence, New Museum Los Gatos, California, USA (2016); Et si on s’était trompé?, Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris, France and Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre (2015).

Hirmer is delighted to announce the 'When Will We Recognize Us', a new book on the practice of George Bolster, will be published in April this year, and is available for preorder at University of Chicago Press'When Will We Recognize Us' was edited by Miranda Driscoll and features essays by Ian Alden Russell, Sarah Kelleher, Seán Kissane, Denise Markonish, Leanne Sacramone, and Claire Walsh.

'When Will We Recognize Us' examines the practice of research-based artist George Bolster, who addresses the crises facing our species, the long-term conservation of art objects as they relate to climate change, our ignorance of tangible reality, and our willingness to live in the past through outmoded belief systems. Bolster’s text and image works are ambitious and immersive multidisciplinary creations, encompassing film, tapestry, photography, and installation. Bolster conducts his work in concert with a range of scientists, resulting in pieces that philosophically address astronomy, global warming, and our self-appointed place in evolution.

Images: George Bolster/George Bolster, Stolen from the Nations, Now Squandered by Politicians, Reprotect and Conserve (2020), UV Prints directly onto wood
George Bolster, Communication, We are not the only ones talking…5 channel film piece 45 mins


WCAC acknowledges the financial support of Arts Council Ireland and Cork County Council in making these exhibitions possible.

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