“What makes this site different, unique?” is a question many artists ask themselves when exploring a site-specific work, and David Ireland was no exception.
While David produced a breadth of studio work over the course of his career, he found himself continually drawn to creating work focused on a specific location or place. As he articulated in a 1990 interview: “In site-specific work, an artist often tries to explore and examine a site to see what differentiates it from any other site. I seem to come off better in places that have a character I can examine. I respond more to something I can develop, let’s say a quality of the space. And that quality, for me, has something to do with its materials.”
Some of these site specific works include his work at 65 Capp Street, an installation at the Hirshhorn Museum, the Headlands, and of course 500 Capp Street. Within these spaces David created aesthetic experiences that cannot be duplicated inside a gallery, as they are unique to the qualities of the given space. When 500 Capp Street re-opens, it will become a destination for patrons to experience the site as David intended. They will also experience objects that will be displayed outside a gallery setting, as they were intended to be viewed only within the context of 500 Capp Street.
This question of “What makes this site different, unique?” will continue to be explored through our artist-in-residency program. The 500 Capp Street residency will be a fitting tribute to David who pondered this question in his own work.