Exhibition: ALAN PHELAN & MARK SWORDS, THE LIST AND THE LINE, 13 APRIL – 29 JULY 2024
Exhibition: ALAN PHELAN & MARK SWORDS, THE LIST AND THE LINE, 13 APRIL – 29 JULY 2024

This exhibition brings together two very different art practices in a site specific and responsive installation at Casino Marino. Both artists interconnect conflicting histories through the act of making — with complex collage paintings, layered Joly screen photographs, text works, assemblages and sculptures. The personal is thrown together with the national, consumerism is jumbled with colonialism, visual narratives tumble into abstraction, and pleasure is maybe more pizza box than portico perfection.

Over the last century in Ireland, as imperialism was replaced by nationalism, this unique building endured despite what seems like active neglect. The new Irish state was not very forgiving and gobbled up the estate the building was part of for social housing, deals with the Catholic church to build an orphanage, GAA pitches filling the 5-walled garden, rail lines, golf clubs and more, leaving only a small lawn around the Casino.

The Casino is not denounced in our time as an absurd folly or a monument to imperial excess and extravagance, but rather it is celebrated as an unlikely architectural gem and national treasure. Built as a pleasure-house, this little maison de plaisance or lustschloss, as called elsewhere, is so much more than kitchen, dining room and bedroom. The Greek origin of the word archive is arkheion, meaning house or abode. In its conception and design this casino, or little house, was a fusion of antiquity that became Georgian neoclassicism and can now be an archive of other potential histories.

Where the Earl, James Caulfield partied, the artists now also play. In the initial selection of works there were many direct visual connections with shapes and textures, exotic plants & animals, and indeed parallel symbolism. To this were added new works, responding to and sometimes working against the thematics of specific rooms. The List and the Line is where both artists meet, beyond stripes and potential inventories, to find a way to structure thinking on this incredible place.


At the Molesworth Gallery
Starts: 13th April 2024 at
Ends: 29th July 2024