At The Gates of Silent Memory

At The Gates of Silent Memory at Luan Gallery is a solo exhibition of photography by internationally acclaimed Irish artist Clare Langan, curated by Eamonn Maxwell. Known for her expansive and award-winning film projects, which have been seen in galleries, museums, biennales, and film festivals across the world, Langan has a parallel photography practice using digital SLR and the unique Hasselblad XPan cameras. This exhibition will be a rare opportunity to see a significant body of Langan’s photography practice in a public gallery.

At The Gates of Silent Memory takes the threshold between worlds, climates, and reveries as its starting point and brings together a series of works not yet seen. These works have been shot over a number of years, interweaving with a number of Langan’s different projects. As climate change is sadly now part of our everyday lives, this exhibition amplifies how Langan’s work has dealt with these concerns for the last 25 years. Whether dealing with the human figure or a particular landscape, one thing that has linked all of this work are her concerns with the fragile nature of this earth that we live on and humanities tenuous and transient relationship to it. Clare Langan’s poetic sensory approach to her subjects can perhaps quietly leave us with a vision of a planet going through a profound transformation.

There are many aftermaths in these works – storms, volcanoes, and relationships – asking us as the viewer to consider the circumstances that created the conditions for these photographs. We see people struggling to hold on in the wake of these losses, frozen embryonic-like in Pompeian stillness, or framed in stark isolation. Each of us experience loss. But there is also beauty and poignancy in these images, and we have to spend time engaging with the poetic photographs to find our own Elizium. In the artist’s own words, we are but a moment here.