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False Memory

False Memory by Willie Doherty

‘False Memory’
Willie Doherty



160 pages
282 x 239 mm
ISBN 9781858941790


‘False Memory’ is the first substantial showing of Willie Doherty’s work in Ireland and one of the largest exhibitions of his work anywhere to date. Exploring themes of memory and place, it highlights concerns which have preoccupied Doherty throughout his career and which he has returned to again and again. Much of Doherty’s artistic output has emanated from and is closely keyed to his native city of Derry. It reveals a complex and shifting range of correspondences, both real and imagined, between place and memory. The slippages or gaps between places and events and the images by which they come to be recalled and represented make up the raw material for all of Doherty’s art. They provide him with those spaces to manoeuvre, which have been central to his extensive body of photographic and video works.

The exhibition presents key examples of Doherty’s early black and white photographs, such as ‘Mesh’ and ‘The Blue Skies of Ulster’, and his large colour cibachrome photographs, such as ‘Unapproved Road I’ and ‘Out of Sight’, which exist on the borderline between the documentary and the staged. In these works Doherty places us at the edge of the city, between the familiar and the unknown – a highly mediated place, shaped from a combination of television news coverage, cinematic fantasy, tourist information, popular stereotypes and collective memory. The exhibition also includes the seminal slide installations ‘Same Difference’ and ‘They’re All the Same’, both of which question, through the juxtaposition of the verbal with the pictorial, how language can shape our perceptions of images, in this instance media images of IRA suspects. Doherty’s most recent video installation, ‘Re-Run’, commissioned by the British Council for this year’s 25th São Paolo Biennale, is being shown for the first time in Ireland.

A major full-colour catalogue, published by IMMA and Merrell publishers, with essays by the chief curator of the Castello di Rivoli, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, and writer and critic, Caoimhín Mac Giolla Léith, accompanies the exhibition.

The exhibition is supported by the British Council.


About the Artist
Willie Doherty was born in Derry, Northern Ireland in 1959. He lives in County Donegal and continues to work in Derry. Since the early 1990s, he has had numerous international solo exhibitions, including the Stadtische Galerie in Lenbachhaus und Kunstbau, Munich and Hamburger Kunstverein, Hamburg; Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas; The Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky; Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh; Laboratorio Arte Alameda, Mexico City; The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; The Renaissance Society, Chicago, Illinois. In 2007 he represented Northern Ireland at the 52nd Venice Biennale. His work has been presented in prestigious international group exhibitions, including dOCUMENTA 13, Kassel, Germany, 2012; Manifesta 8, Murcia, Spain, 2010; 51st Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy, 2005; 8th Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey, 2003; 25th Sao Paulo Biennial, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2002; and Carnegie International, Pittsburgh, PA,1999. He was shortlisted for the Turner Prize twice, in 1994 and 2003, and was awarded a DAAD residency, Berlin, 1999. He joined the University of Ulster in 1998, and has been Professor of Video Art since 2005.


About the Publisher
Merrell Publishers specializes in award-winning books on art, design, photography, architecture, fashion, gardens and interiors. Merrell collaborates with authors, photographers, museums, galleries, foundations, private collectors, brands and companies around the world. They pay particular attention to the quality of editing, design and production, and we pride themselvesselves on publishing only a carefully selected number of new titles each year.