Launch of new programme at Rua Red with Love Story by Candice Breitz

11th August 2023

Rua Red is delighted to announce ‘Displacement and Belonging’ a programme of new work, exhibitions, commissions, and events that will take place throughout 2023-2024 featuring artists Candice Breitz, Morag Myerscough, Brognon Rollin, and Array Collective.

French philosopher Derrida wrote extensively on the ethics and origins of the word ‘hospitality’. He believed with hospitality there is also hostility, a reference to the pre-conditions in place when welcoming a stranger into your country, workplace, cultural institution, or home.

Rua Red is located in one of the most culturally rich and diverse counties in Ireland; over 60 languages are spoken and over 93 nationalities have made South Dublin County their home.

The new programme at Rua Red will look at the obstacles and rules that create social and cultural disconnection, preventing a sense of belonging to a place or community. Artists will explore themes such as power, displacement, hostility, global politics, and geopolitics and highlight the personal stories of displacement and belonging of the people of South Dublin County and beyond.

To kick start our programme Rua Red have invited South African Artist Candice Breitz to exhibit her work Love Story (2016), a seven-channel installation that interrogates the mechanics of identification and the conditions under which empathy is produced.

Love Story is based on the personal narratives of six individuals who have fled their countries in response to a range of oppressive conditions: Sarah Ezzat Mardini, who escaped war-torn Syria; José Maria João, a former child soldier from Angola; Mamy Maloba Langa, a survivor from the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Shabeena Francis Saveri, a transgender activist from India; Luis Ernesto Nava Molero, a political dissident from Venezuela; and Farah Abdi Mohamed, an idealistic young atheist from Somalia.

The work evokes the global scale of the so-called ‘refugee crisis,’ evolving out of lengthy interviews conducted with the six participants in the countries where they are seeking or have been granted asylum (Berlin, New York, Cape Town).

The personal accounts shared by the interviewees are articulated twice in Love Story. In the first space of the installation, re-performed fragments from the six interviews are woven into a fast-paced montage featuring Hollywood actors Alec Baldwin and Julianne Moore (cast as themselves: ‘an actor’ and ‘an actress’).

In a second space that is accessible only via the first, the original interviews unfold across six suspended screens in their full duration and complexity, now intimately voiced by the individuals whose lived experiences they archive.

Suspending viewers between the gritty firsthand accounts of people who would typically remain nameless and faceless in the media, and an accessible drama featuring two actors who are the very embodiment of visibility, Love Story raises questions around how and where our attention is focused.

What kind of stories are we willing to hear? What kind of stories move us? Why is it that the same audiences that are driven to tears by fictional blockbusters remain affectless in the face of actual human suffering?

Love Story was commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne), Outset Germany (Berlin) and Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg and was shown in the South African Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2017.

Image: Candice Breitz. Love Story, 2016. Featuring Alec Baldwin and Julianne Moore. 7-Channel Installation. Commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria, Outset Germany + Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg. Installation View: South African Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2017. Photograph: Andrea Rossetti. Courtesy: Goodman Gallery, Kaufmann Repetto + KOW