Director’s Tour of ‘John Kindness, The Odyssey’

RHA Learning

On 17 Jan, 2024

Join RHA Director Patrick T Murphy for a tour of 'The Odyssey', which will offer insights into John Kindness's artistic practice and the curation of this exhibition.

Inspired by James Joyce’s version of the Odyssey, Ulysses, Kindness presents an extraordinary and varied visual language in his exhibition The Odyssey to represent episodes from Odysseus’s decade-long detour on his return to Ithaca, following the siege of Troy.

For much of his artistic career, Kindness has applied what he calls a ‘museum as medium’ approach to representing his subjects. His bodies of work take the form of theoretical museum exhibits, involving prosaic objects endowed with a new significance: Attic taxi cab fragments and subway frescoes, for example are enriched with contemporary significance, while referencing the past. This is perhaps inspired by his childhood visits to the Ulster Museum, which taught him how to look at a culture by reading texts and even more importantly, that you could read that culture by examining its objects and artifacts.

The fundamental and timeless relevance of Greek mythology underpins Kindness’s endeavour and gives rise to his use of modern forms while staying faithful to Homer’s narrative and the natures of his characters. Here, you will see the hazards of Scylla and Charybdis engraved onto a toilet seat, Odysseus’s teenage son listening to albums by ‘The Sirens’ and ‘The Gorgons’, and Poseidon’s branded sailor snacks.

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    17 Jan, 2024
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