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Thursday 22 March 2018

Here's looking at you squid: Bob gets eyeful of art

Bob Geldof views a ceramic squid at the Dublin Contemporary 2011 exhibition
Bob Geldof views a ceramic squid at the Dublin Contemporary 2011 exhibition
One of the works attached to a building at Earlsfort Terrace
Breda Heffernan

Breda Heffernan

BOB Geldof isn't an "art wanker", he just knows what he likes.

Fresh from his appearance at Electric Picnic -- or as fresh as the permanently bedraggled musician can manage -- Geldof was given a sneak-peek tour of a new €4m art exhibition, Dublin Contemporary 2011, at Earlsfort Terrace yesterday.

And, befitting his late night and a decidedly un-showbiz early start -- not to mention trying to get some sleep in the same hotel as the jubilant Kilkenny hurlers -- he was ready to be cantankerous.

Geldof recalled as a child being taken by his father to Rosc, a famous modern art exhibition in the 1960s, in Ballsbridge where the Irish public was introduced to the likes of Andy Warhol.

Geldof said he was interested in seeing if the various artworks in the new exhibition -- which include such oddities as a six-metre-long ceramic squid lying in a puddle of sugar-water ink -- would 'move him'.

"I hope I'm left querulous in the same way my father was by Rosc," he added.

The former Boomtown Rats frontman has become disillusioned with rock 'n' roll, saying it has lost the "ability to suggest change" and has instead become "the ubiquitous culture".

"I think rock 'n' roll needs a context in which to exist and that context may not be there any more so it ceases to be relevant and therefore music has to move on. I don't think it has, I think art does."

However, he quickly added: "I don't want to sound like a complete art wanker."

Dublin Contemporary 2011 opens today and runs for eight weeks.

The work of more than 100 artists, half of them Irish, are exhibited in 22 locations across the city, including the Royal Hibernian Academy, the National Gallery of Ireland, the Hugh Lane and the Douglas Hyde Gallery.

The main hub of the exhibition is centred in the former UCD medical school at Earlsfort Terrace.

The exhibition also includes a number of interactive artworks for children. Geldof was joined at the preview by Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan, who said the new exhibition would put Ireland on the contemporary art map alongside Venice and Edinburgh.

Many parts of the exhibition are free. A full-day ticket for the rest of the shows costs €15 for adults and €6 for children over five.

Irish Independent

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