Institut für
Kunstdokumentation und

Changing States:
Ireland in the 21st Century
Contemporary photography from Ireland


Haus am Kleistpark, Berlin

6 June - 11 August 2024

Opening on 6th June 2024



photo: Enda Bowe. Untitled, Searching for North © Enda Bowe


Changing States: Ireland in the 21st Century is a major new group exhibition that looks at the ways photography has made visible the changing nature of Irish life. It concentrates on the first decades of the twenty-first century, marking 100 years since the foundation of the state. Featuring works by over 40 contemporary artists, this large-scale exhibition surveys the development of contemporary photography in Ireland. It charts how leading artists working in Ireland have addressed major socio-political developments to reflect on changing demographics, cultural identities, contested territories and social reform. The exhibition brings together diverse points of view, critically reframing contemporary life across the island of Ireland.


photo: Jamin Keogh. Michael, Moyross Study, 2017 © Jamin Keogh

Moving from traditional documentary practices towards more socially engaged and conceptual practices to the medium, Changing States considers how artists have responded to the profound shifts that have occurred in Irish society. This survey represents the depth and range of recent Irish photography, as well as the extent to which artists have engaged with the most pressing issues of contemporary life. It charts our transformation from an insular nation-state to a more liberal, globalised and multicultural society.


photo: Shane Hynan. Tony’s Footings, No. 27-07, 2019, Beneath Beofhód, 2018-2022 © Shane Hynan


photo: Ciarán Óg Arnold. Untitled, I went to the worst of bars © Ciarán Óg Arnold


This exhibition is a partnership with German curator Ralph Goertz, Director of the Institute for Art Documentation (IKS), Düsseldorf, Barbara Esch Marowski, Director of Haus am Kleistpark, Berlin, and Trish Lambe and Darren Campion, Photo Museum Ireland. Curated for Haus am Kleistpark, one of Berlin’s most prestigious municipal art spaces, it is the largest international exhibition of contemporary Irish photography to date.


Curated by Trish Lambe, Darren Campion and Ralph Goertz


photo: Shane Lynam. Untitled, 2014 Pebbledash Wonderland © Shane Lynam


photo: Pauline Rowan. Grotto, Under a Vaulted Sky © Pauline Rowan



Supported photographers:


Ciarán Óg Arnold, Audrey Blue, Enda Bowe, Noel Bowler, Simon Burch, Ala Buisir, Martin Cregg, Eamonn Doyle, Ciarán Dunbar, John Duncan, Robert Ellis, David Farrell, Anthony Haughey, Conor Horgan, Shane Hynan, Bernadette Keating, Jamin Keogh, Shane Lynam, Martin McGagh, Yvette Monahan, Trish Morrissey, Seamus Murphy, Brian Newman, Jackie Nickerson, Kenneth O’Halloran, Shannon Ritchie, Pauline Rowan, Paul Seawright, Niamh Smith, Daragh Soden, Amelia Stein, Lorraine Tuck, Tommy Weir and Donovan Wylie.


The following artists have decided not to participate in the exhibition to signal their protest against the political stance of Germany regarding the conflict in the Middle East: Paul Carroll, Caleb Daly & Luke Ryan, Clare Gallagher, Emer Gillespie, Jordan Hearns, Dragana Jurisic, Sara McCarroll, Miriam O’Connor, Mandy O’Neill und Ruby Wallis.


Curators' Statement



Installation views








Zeitgeist Irland 24 is an initiative from Culture Ireland and the Embassy of Ireland in Germany to promote Contemporary Irish Arts and Culture in Germany in 2024.