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James Barry (1741-1806), Portraits of Burke and Barry in the Characters of Ulysses and a Companion, fleeing from the Cave of Polyphemus (c.1776)
James Barry (1741-1806), Portraits of Burke and Barry in the Characters of Ulysses and a Companion, fleeing from the Cave of Polyphemus (c.1776)

WHAT'S THE STORY?
Ongoing
History, Memory, and Myth
in an Age of Alternative Facts

What’s the story?
Irish slang, colloquial phrase, greeting
– hello; what is happening; what is going on.

In a post-truth age characterised by ‘alternative facts’ and ‘fake news’, it is often difficult to discern what is truly happening. In such uncertain times, separating truth from untruth has thus become central to contemporary life. If we are to continue to acknowledge the importance of factual accuracy, however, questioning the verbal and visual information we receive, as well as the manner in which it is packaged, is essential.

Acting as a repository for cultural memory and storytelling, visual art helps us to engage with deeper truths and to reflect on the authenticity of the narratives we encounter. Drawing on the work of some of Ireland’s finest artists, this exhibition enables us to consider reality and invention in parallel, and invites us to question accepted truths and the multiple versions of history.

We encourage visitors to explore these history paintings and allegories, landscapes and scenes of everyday life to unpick the mythmaking, to challenge the shaping of history, and to discover what’s the story.

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Curated by Dr Michael Waldron