Rubicon Projects presents: STEPHEN BRANDES

28/08 – 27/09/2015

Rubicon Projects presents: STEPHEN BRANDES

ETE 78 welcomes: Josephine Kelliher | Cate Kelliher – Rubicon Projects | Rubicon Gallery

VERNISSAGE: Friday 28 August,18:00H – 21:00H

VISITS: Friday, Saturday, Sunday by appointment until Sunday 27th September 2015

28/08 – 27/09 vendredi, samedi, dimanche – visite sur rendez-vous

CONTACT: Josephine Kelliher +353/ 86 239 38 19 and

Stephen Brandes’ explores the relationship between word and visual language in storytelling, with particular reference to travel fiction, political history and the European traditions of “absurdism” and satire. His imagery does share some affinity to literary fiction, as it also attempts to build a fabricated world through observation and invention. However it differs fundamentally by rejecting a linear narrative in favour of intuitive or lateral juxtapositions, all led by the image.

For several years Brandes worked on a series of very large, detailed drawings made on floor vinyl. These depicted a fictional universe, the genesis of which was his journey through Eastern and Central Europe on a route taken by his grandmother in 1913 when she escaped the pogroms in Romania. He has since produced a body of work, that not only includes drawing and painting, but monumental posters, signage, collage and most recently a 26-minute animated slide show.

Brandes new work is based on his interest in how visual and pictorial languages, from the recent past, have been adopted within particular ideologies, from the avant-gardes and revolutionary aesthetics of the early 20th century to the graphic sensibilities of more recent years. He is revisiting this iconography, not out of nostalgia, but rather for the purpose of misappropriation. He aims to create objects and images that hover between potency and awkwardness, authority and absurdity. Classical notions of beauty are exchanged for an aesthetic of “wrongness and affliction”. Brandes attempts to consider our shared histories and our futures with a measured mixture of poignancy and “gallows humour.”


Stephen Brandes was born in the UK, he has been based in Ireland for over a decade and earned his M.A. Fine Art, National College of Art and Design, Dublin. He exhibits regularly in Ireland and throughout Europe including a major solo-exhibition at the Royal Hibernian Academy Dublin (with publication) 2006 having represented Ireland in a collective exhibition at the Venice Biennale 2005. He has presented two major Public Art projects in recent years; 2012 group presentation”48-Sheet” – A City-wide Billboard project: Birmingham, U.K. & 2014 solo ‘From the Last Travelogue of A. Sitzfleisch.’, Norwich Cathedral, commissioned for the Norfolk & Norwich Festival.

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