Minister Humphreys announces Jesse Jones to represent Ireland at the 57th International Art Exhibition

The Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Heather Humphreys TD, has today (Tuesday) announced that Jesse Jones has been chosen to represent Ireland at the 57th International Art Exhibition in Venice. Ireland at Venice is an initiative of Culture Ireland in partnership with the Arts Council.

With a practice that is grounded in film and performance, Jones is creating an artwork entitled Tremble Tremble which she describes as a ‘bewitching’ of the judicial system. The title is inspired by the 1970s Italian wages for housework movement, during which women chanted: ‘Tremate, tremate, le streghe sono tornate! (Tremble, tremble, the witches have returned!)’ Jones is collaborating with theatre artist Olwen Fouéré, and sound artist Susan Stenger, who are together creating an artwork that extends across the pavilion as an expanded form of cinema.

Speaking at the launch Minister Humphreys said:

Jesse Jones joins a list of outstanding artists who have represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale, many of whom have gone on to achieve major international reputations. I know Jesse already has a global reputation and I hope that her exhibition at Venice, Tremble Tremble, will attract the international interest it deserves and increase her international opportunities.

 “The Venice Biennale has for a century held its place as the most important international showcase for visual arts and in recent years has attracted some 400,000 visitors, representing a huge opportunity for Irish artists. The Venice Biennale represents Culture Ireland’s largest financial commitment to international showcasing of visual arts and the Arts Council’s largest commitment to developing visual artists’ international practice.”

Tessa Giblin, the Curator of this year’s exhibition says:

“Working with Jesse Jones this last year as we’ve built the project towards Venice has been working with an artist whose eclectic research seems to be somehow pouring into the Pavilion. Many artworks are made and refined in the security of a studio or editing suite, but Tremble Tremble will be edited and mixed on site, in the room, really like an expanded form of cinema. Tremble Tremble is really presenting us with a work that’s embedded in research and historical findings, but is also a very personal, fantastical creation.”

Jesse Jones has been researching the ways in which the law transmits memory between generations and over time. Her research weaves between an archaeological dig of a 3.5 million year old female specimen, to the suppressed voices of the witch trials of the 16th century Europe, the symphysiotomy trials, and abortion legislation in Ireland today. The new world order to be found in Tremble Tremble churns testimony, published statements and new lyrics into a towering bodily incantation.

Since 2005 Culture Ireland and the Arts Council have partnered on supporting Ireland’s representation at Venice given the ongoing platform it offers artists to reach an international audience, including curators and gallerists of close to 100,000 as well as its significance for the artists’ and curators’ development.


Notes for Editors:                                      

Jesse Jones is a Dublin-based artist. Her practice crosses the media of film, performance and installation. Often working through collaborative structures, she has been exploring how historical instances of communal culture may hold resonance in our current social and political experiences. Jones’ practice is multi-platform, working in film installation, performance and sculpture. Her recent work has examined how political movements and ideas might be expanded to institutional, performative gestures. Current exhibitions and projects prior to representing Ireland at the Venice Biennale in 2017, include the major new work In the Shadow of the State, commissioned by Artangel (UK) and Create (IE) with funding support from Ireland 2016, and Radical Actions RMIT Gallery, Melbourne 2016.

Tessa Giblin is Director of Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh. She was raised in Christchurch, New Zealand, where she attended the Canterbury University School of Fine Arts.

She was Curator of Visual Arts at Project Arts Centre, Dublin from 2006-16 where she first commissioned Jesse Jones’ The Spectre and the Sphere. At Project Arts Centre she also curated numerous solo and group exhibitions, including Riddle of the Burial Grounds which toured to Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerp in 2016.  Tessa Giblin lives and works in Edinburgh with her family.

The 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia – runs from 13 May to November 2017 and is widely regarded as one of the most important events on the international visual arts calendar, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors, curators and international programmers and presenters of contemporary arts.

Previous artists who have represented Ireland at Venice include Richard Mosse, 2013,

Corban Walker, 2011, Sarah Browne and Gareth Kennedy 2009, Gerard Byrne 2007, Stephen Brandes, Mark Garry, Ronan McCrea, Sarah Pierce, Isabel Nolan and Walker and Walker, 2005 and Katie Holten 2003.

Ireland’s most recent exhibitions in the Venice Art Biennale 2013 was a particularly strong with Richard Mosse’s The Enclave attracting more than 78,000 visitors, winning the Deutsche Borse Photography Prize 2014 and toured globally.

2015 Sean Lynch’s Adventure Capital has subsequently been presented in the US.

The Irish Pavilion will be based at the Artiglierie of the Arsenale, which will be open to the public in Venice from May 13th to November 26th 2017. The exhibition will open for press and invited guests in Venice on Thursday May 11th 2017

A book will be published in English and Italian, featuring writing by Silvia Federici, Tina Kinsella, Lisa Godson, and Tessa Giblin. Designed by Åbäke, with photography by Ros Kavanagh, Tremble Tremble / Tremate Tremate is co-published by Mousse Publishing and Project Arts Centre.

Ireland at Venice is an initiative of Culture Ireland in partnership with the Arts Council. It is produced and supported by Project Arts Centre, Dublin. Proudly Sponsored by Dublin Port Company; International Partner, LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore; Production Partner, Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dún Laoghaire; and further supported by CIT Crawford College of Art & Design; Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh College of Art and University of Edinburgh; The Ireland Funds, Singapore; South Dublin County Council & Rua Red; Dublin City Council; Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane; the Irish Museum of Modern Art; and the patrons of Ireland at Venice 2017 and Project Arts Centre’s Visual Arts.


Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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