Belgrade Cultural Association

Emer O'Brien,

Artistic photographer, Ireland




Emer O’Brien is an international renowned artist and an award-winning photographer. Her practice is a combination of analogue photography and large-scale installation - incorporating printed material, light boxes, projections, kinetic sculpture and sound. Her work is primarily concerned with the dark side of Modernity: urban decay, social failure, abandonment and alienation. It refers to a particular relationship to time, one characterized by intense historical discontinuity or rupture, openness to the novelty of the future, and a heightened sensitivity to what is unique about the present.


Started in 2004 ‘Contemporary Amnesia’ is a series of analogue photographs and lightboxes characterised by specific forms of response towards both Modernization (technological, economic and political processes) and Modernity (the social conditions and modes of experience that are seen as the effects of these processes). The title ‘Contemporary Amnesia’ refers to the predicament of a simultaneous process of construction and disintegration. As the previous way of life is forgotten, memory traces of an abandoned set of futures and the ideologies of advancement are sliding into the past before they could build a future. This is a travelogue through a distressed landscape, evidence of the irreversible process of entropy.


Emer O’Brien studied BA (HONS) at Reading College of Art and Design followed by an MA at Goldsmiths College and then a MRES at The London Consortium. She has exhibited throughout the UK and internationally including: ΟΧΤΩ/ EIGHT Gallery (Athens), Andrew Edlin Gallery (New York) Laura Mars Gallery (Berlin), Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery (London), The Wapping Project (London), The Whitechapel Gallery (London), The Royal Academy (London), Williamson Art Gallery & Museum (Birkenhead), Kunsthal KaDe (Amsterdam), The Dutch Textile Museum (Tilberg), National Gallery (Prague), and Art Platform LA (Los Angeles).



FRIDAY, JUNE 18th, 2021

"...Emer O’Brien from Ireland, the only foreign artist whose works are part of this exhibition, and who managed to come from Belgrade to Podgorica, greeted the Podgorica audience. Speaking about her work, this artist, who lives and works in Athens, said that the art photographs she presented at the Belgrade-Adriatic Biennale were taken in Spain and Great Britain..."

"The light box on the Biennale''