Performance and new media artist Kevin Atherton joins artist Sonia Shiel to discuss his exhibition, The Return, showing throughout the Festival at the Butler Gallery.
The Butler Gallery, in partnership with Kilkenny Arts Festival, is pleased to present Kevin Atherton: The Return. Atherton is an artist who works with performance and new media in sculptural contexts. His is a time-based practice with an ongoing interest in the relationship between the real and the imagined.
This exhibition consists of three video installations, along with additional object-based work, all of which involve revisiting an older, pre-existing work. In recent years Atherton has become known for this aspect of his practice where he ‘re-enters’ his previous works and, through his interventions, adds to or alters their meaning. In this exhibition the gap between the 'first work' and the 'second work' will vary from 43 years – as in the video/film projection Boxing Re-Match (1972-2015) – to a few minutes, as in the 3D print Signature Piece (2018). In addition, a continuous 60-minute programme of short film/video works spanning a 50-year period will be screened in the Digital Gallery. These works tackle issues such as identity and use humour to question the notion of the artist’s documentary whilst simultaneously challenging television codes and practices.
Since the 1980s Atherton has created many large-scale public sculptural commissions. Well known as an art educator, he taught at National College of Art and Design (NCAD) from 2000 to 2014 where he influenced a generation of young artists. As a previous resident of Inistioge he is very happy to be returning to Kilkenny.