September 20: Civic Virtue Grand Tour

Doors open 8 pm

Presentation starts 8.30 pm

Civic Virtue presents CIVIC VIRTUE GRAND TOUR

CIVIC VIRTUE will tour Europe this upcoming fall in the Grand Tour of 2012. For its presentation at Barry, CIVIC VIRTUE will expand upon the itinerary of The Grand Tour, and touch upon the themes and connotations of their south-bound route. The Grand Tour is inspired by 18th and 19th century tradition of the same name, wherein European youths were sent to the south to (re)discover the cultural heritage of antiquity – in neoclassic ritual by which to be included in the upper echelons of a ruling class. CIVIC VIRTUE neither denies nor approves of the connotation of this historical trend, but sees the importance of reinvesting the unspent energy of self-cultivation in recuperating some of the signs and symbols which now lie abandoned throughout the cultural landscape of Europe. CIVIC VIRTUE hopes to reform these signs to align them to the reality of their true potential.

CIVIC VIRTUE is a collective of four artists: Geirthrudur Finnbogadottir Hjorvar, Gijsbert Wouter Wahl, Ruchama Noorda and Brian McKenna. The group was established in 2010 around a shared interest in social communities who organize themselves around symbols of power and virtue, and the continual re-emergence of these signs over the course of history.  One can think for instance of the classical pillar now supporting library or bank building, and allegories such as Liberté, égalité, fraternité which once expresse the pinnacle of radicality. But such pillars were of course derived from imitations of the trees that formed the wood for prehistoric temples, just as Liberté and egalité were merely a return to pre-Roman (pre-imperial) ideas of society.

The European Tour will simultaneously be a centre of research, a destination, and a metaphor for how we got to where we are. CIVIC VIRTUE will look towards animal forms that provide potent metaphors for collective though as in the allegory of bovine rumination as the re-digesting of already chewed ideas. CIVIC VIRTUE will therefore present a diagram of its Grand Tour with complimentary metaphors on the notions of prophesy, haruspex, dinner, and the future. Such metaphors may provide some solutions for resolving 21th century hang-ups about a future still to arrive.