TULCA 2019: Open Call (Now Closed)


TULCA Festival of Visual Arts is pleased to announce details of its 2019 Open Call curated by Kerry Guinan; TACTICAL MAGIC.

Curatorial brief:

TACTICAL MAGIC describes a process of reification by magic. As a festival and exhibition, it sets out to identify the links between art and magical practice. Archaeology tells us that the very roots of art are in magic. Prehistoric cave paintings, for example, were not merely decorative embellishments, they were acts of hunting magic intended to bring prey into life. It is this magical element, this resolute belief in reality building and bending through art, that forms the basis of TULCA 2019.

Expropriated from the art of communal ritual, magic was historically appropriated by organised religion into pedagogical representation, before being altogether disgraced by enlightened capitalism, which stated the genius of the artist as detached from God. Magic has survived, nonetheless, in forms of transgressive art practice that cast faith in art as a tool of reality. Hence new bridges between art and activism, art and health, and art and science are emerging alongside the enduring representational magic of paint, performance, and sculpture. These practices can be considered tactical insofar as they constitute a particular methodology employed towards a broader metaphysical end.

TACTICAL MAGIC finds its bearings in the resilient magical customs of the West of Ireland (in Galway the Hen’s Castle, Saint Augustine’s Well, and Knockma Hill). Yet it also positions itself in critical adjacency to perspectives that would enclose such practices in an exotic past, reproducible for the gaze of the tourist. Ireland is currently undergoing rapid secularisation, facilitated in part by the arrival of global capital. We are constructing a place where wells no longer heal, statues no longer weep, and giants no longer roam, yet the invisible hand of the market is granted deity-like infallibility. Against this timely and sensitive backdrop, TACTICAL MAGIC seeks to identify magic in the contemporary everyday, including in the rationalist discourses of science, technology, and the economy.

TACTICAL MAGIC therefore, asks, in a context of profit-positivism, whether art can create a political space for magical effects. Etymologically othered by religions, throughout history the term ‘magic’ has been flexibly applied to practices rejected by official discourse. This exhibition makes use of this flexibility to gather artistic practices of deviance, transcendence, illusion, ritual, embodiment, reification, redress, and trickery. Historically divergent disciplines and approaches will convene to share tactics that subvert the conventional binary of rationalism and irrationalism.

Given the historical treatment of magical practice, the curator is particularly keen to hear from perspectives that have been hitherto excluded from artistic and religious canons.

Open Call Process & Guidelines:

TULCA is curated through direct invitation and an Open Call process. The final selection of artworks will be based on thematic connection, artistic quality, and feasibility.

Selections are made by the curator in consultation with the TULCA producer.

Application Process:

Deadline: 6th May 2019 6pm (GMT)

Please send a single PDF attachment (15mb max) that includes the following information:

(Items 1 - 4 are obligatory)

  1. A concise artist’s statement (max 250 words)

  2. CV (max 2 pages)

  3. Examples of previous work (no more than 10 images; each image of existing work must include the title, its dimensions, the material/medium, the date and your name, and also information on where the work has been shown, if applicable). Web links of up to 2 video works can be sent, accessible at either YouTube or Vimeo - you must include passwords for any private videos and works longer than 5 minutes must be abridged

  4. A clearly outlined proposal of work to be exhibited and its installation and technical requirements, which should not exceed 250 words. Please include photographs or videos of the work (3 max)

  5. (Optional) Where new work is being proposed please include a clear outline text not to exceed 250 words. Please include any sketches or visualisations in the PDF document and any available information on costings, materials, technical and venue requirements

Applications should be submitted via email to opencall@tulca.ie

Notes for Applicants:

TULCA is a focused visual arts festival with limited resources, so please bear this in mind in developing your proposal. TULCA typically takes place across a range of art and non-art venues, such as Galway Arts Centre, NUIG Gallery, University Hospital, 126 Gallery and off-site locations. If you develop a proposal for a specific location or context, we cannot guarantee its availability or feasibility. We encourage artists to take a flexible approach in this regard to allow for a variety of options developed through discussion with the curator.

We will confirm receipt of all applications. Selected artists will be notified no later than 30th June 2019.

We regret we are not able to give individual feedback regarding unsuccessful applications.

There is no submission fee

TULCA is a unique festival that provides the opportunity for artists to engage with a wide audience in new and unusual ways. As well as an artist fee, we offer curatorial and artistic development, technical support and a significant press, marketing and audience campaign. A fully illustrated catalogue with commissioned essays. A dynamic programme of education within primary and secondary schools and third level institutions. The festival also offers an extraordinary chance to build new collaborations and extend your network with artists nationally and internationally.

Artists are welcome to propose the presentation of existing works or the production of new work. Work must not have been previously exhibited in Galway.

Artists curated through this open call are responsible for the transport/delivery and collection of their work. All applicants should be aware that, if selected, they will be required to do press and promotion work as necessary.

TULCA reserve the right to photograph works and to use elements of accepted entries for exhibition for publicity purposes, unless the artist expressly states the contrary in writing. Copyright of all work remains the property of the artist.

For any further queries please contact Festival Producer at info@tulca.ie