Adventure: Capital


Video and sculptural installation

Irish Pavilion, Venice Biennale


“Sean Lynch excavates anecdotes, hearsay, and half-truths, unearthing marginalized stories that have been overlooked or fallen by the wayside. Through his ethnographic methodology and allegorical storytelling, Lynch playfully interrogates the complex motifs that connect an individual to a historically determined environment and society.


For Ireland at the 56th International Art Exhibition in Venice, Lynch has created a new work entitled Adventure: Capital, combining sculptures, video, and archival elements. The work inhabits a spirit akin to the Gobán Saor, legendary stone carver and first architect of Ireland. Tracing a journey from Bronze Age myth to contemporary forms of minimalism around Ireland and Britain, Adventure: Capital follows this wandering figure as it encounters the hegemonic structures and entwined flows of capital, migration, and neoliberal spatiality. Passing through London’s economic center, the discovery of smiling Greek river gods on the back of Irish Free State banknotes initiates a journey via public art at airports and abandoned sculptures that culminates at a traffic roundabout in the southeast of Ireland.


Echoing Walter Benjamin’s “literary montage” and Aby Warburg’s “mnemonic atlas,” Lynch creates associations and convergences from disparate fragments that agglomerate to suddenly fall into sharp relief. For Adventure: Capital, the binary narrative of history is countered through reanimating legendary figures and questioning monuments within the built environment of neoliberalism and late capitalism.”


Venice Biennale exhibition catalogue, text by Woodrow Kernohan.