TULCA (November 8 – 24, Galway City) is a multi-venue, artist-centered festival of contemporary art that works with Irish curators with the aim to present innovative exhibitions to provoke and energise audiences into the world of the Visual Arts.
The annual festival, now in its 11th year, takes place over three weeks in November and is the only festival in Ireland to specifically commission Irish curators who develop a theme unique to the event.
Exhibitions take place in both gallery and non-gallery spaces, featuring projects and events across urban and regional contexts. The process starts five months prior to the festival when TULCA initiates an open call in June inviting national and international artists to submit a proposal based upon the chosen theme.
This year the theme chosen by curator Valerie Connor is Golden Moiutain. Connor says of it: “There are no mountains made of gold, but we can certainly imagine one and, as the argument goes, once we’ve imagined one it exists. So it’s a paradox. The Golden Mountain is a puzzle. It’s about what we believe is real and what we think we know. It’s about how, in the course of denying something exists, we simultaneously conjure it up. It speaks to the power of representation and imagination to transform our ‘realities’ or maintain the status quo.
Valerie Connor is an independent curator and advisor, who works with individuals and small-scale organizations in the visual arts, She is a lecturer in photography at the Dublin Institute of Technology and Chairperson of the National Campaign for the Arts. In 2003, she curated Ireland’s official participation at the 50th Venice Biennale of Art and also the 26th Biennale de São Paulo the following year. Valerie was the specialist adviser to the Arts Council, from 2006 to 2010. And she was a board member of the Irish Museum of Modern Art; from 2005 to 2010.