Spanning six rooms and the several corridors of IMMA’s West Wing, 3 different nights, recurring represents the most comprehensive gathering of Irish artist Grace Weir’s work. The exhibition, whose name references famed Irish 19th century astronomer William Parsons, centres on three new video installations Black Square, Darkroom and A Reflection of Light. Intertwined with these new creations are selections of Weir’s previous and related works which themselves are a mixture of different media types, including installation and video pieces. The overriding theme of the show is that of time, space and light, with Weir referencing past masters in astronomy and photography including the aforementioned Parsons and his wife Mary Rosse. New video piece Darkroom sees Weir document Rosse’s laboratory both as it was in her time and devoid of all contents in a diptych video projection.
As you travel through this vast show, which draws you in so much that it feels more like a sneak look at Weir’s working methods than a retrospective look at previous works, you can see the evolution of an artist’s practice that culminates in the trio of video installations. As well as these new videos, new works like Future Perfect and 3 different blacks see Weir approach the process of temporal works through her use of non-lightfast inks. There is genuinely so much to see in this show that at times it boggles the mind that a single artist could have produce all of the work on display in such a short period of time – the earliest piece is 1999.
Particular highlights include the video work Dust defying gravity, which was shot in Dunsink Observatory in 2003 and Coffee Cup Caustic, an installation piece that looks at the complexity of light created by the simple inner surface of a cylinder from 2005. All the work crescendos in the final room as you enter with a miniature study of Cubist artist Mainie Jellett’s Let There be Light on wall. As you turn the corner you are greeted with a large scale projection of A Reflection of Light which sees Weir interpret Jellett’s painting through a series of videos in different locations blended into one seemingly seamless shot. 3 different nights, recurring runs until March 6th next year and is not only one of the most complete and well constructed exhibitions IMMA has presented in recent it is also, quite possibly, its best.