Maeve Brennan

Maeve Brennan

The Goods, 2018, photographic installation

Guling Street Avant-garde Theatre

The Goods is part of an ongoing series of billboards by Maeve Brennan, produced in collaboration with the forensic archaeologist Dr. Christos Tsirogiannis. The series draw from Tsirogiannis’ digital archive of over 30,000 images depicting more than 100,000 illicitly traded antique objects. The images give a sense of the largely invisible economy of the illegal antiques market, which is one of the most profitable, after weapons and drug trafficking. Tsirogiannis uses this archive to identify antiquities of potentially illicit origin in museums, collections, commercial galleries, and auction houses by comparing the objects to images from the confiscated archives of three convicted dealers. As a result of his work, the objects are often seized and repatriated to their country of origin.

Each billboard in the exhibition features an artifact identified by Tsirogiannis as illicitly traded and discovered in various locations, including Frieze Masters, London, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the private collection of the New York billionaire Michael Steinhardt. Embracing one of art theorist Ariella Azoulay’s most poignant definitions, The Goods seems to enact the practice of “potential history,” a rehearsal in non-imperial critical thinking not intended to “mend the worlds after violence but rewind(s) to the moment before the violence (of looting) occurred and (setting) off from there.”

At a moment when there is increasing awareness of the relationships between colonialism and the histories of museum collections, Brennan sheds light on forms of exile and repatriation that affect dispossessed objects as
much as the communities they belong to.

-Curator|Giulia Colletti

Maeve Brennan

(b. 1990, London, England) Lives and works in London and Beirut. Her practice looks at the historical and political resonance of sites and materials, culminating in moving image and installation works. She carries out long-term investigative research and seeks out proximity and intimacy with people and places. Forming personal relationships allows for a particular kind of documentary encounter—one extended by familiarity and complicated by subjectivity.

Curator : Giulia Colletti

Giulia Colletti is an art historian and curator. Her research feeds into complex cartographies, liminal existences, and marginal grammars. She is in charge of the Public Programs and Digital Sphere at Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea. She was appointed member of the Curatorial Board of the 19th Biennial of Young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean. She has been a Visiting Lecturer of The Glasgow School of Art and the recipient of UK Young Artist Research Fellowship 2019. In 2017, she was Visiting Curator at The Hunterian Museum, Glasgow. Her professional experience includes curatorial and editorial training positions respectively at CCA: Centre for Contemporary Arts Glasgow; at OFF Biennale Budapest (2015); and at 56. Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte La Biennale di Venezia. She has independently curated an array of exhibitions with artists including Elisabetta Benassi; Sarah Browne; Marcel Broodthaers; Núria Güell; Adelita Husni-Bey; Hanne Lippard; Wolfgang Tillmans; and Sue Tompkins, amongst others. In her capacities at Castello di Rivoli, she has recently coordinated the exhibition and co-edited the monograph Giuseppe Penone. Incidences of the Void (2019).
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