New art exhibition DÉAD celebrates legacy of Dracula and Nosferatu

By Brian Bowe

The Goethe-Institut Irland has launched an immersive (and free!) art exhibition called DÉAD, which invites visitors on an eyeopening journey into a vibrant world of darkness.

Running from September 22nd until October 27th, DÉAD (the Irish word for ‘set of teeth’) is inspired by Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau’s classic horror film, Nosferatu. This interdisciplinary
showcase combines traditional and cutting-edge art forms, including virtual reality (VR), 3D animations, video projections, and sculptures, and explores themes such as the cycle of life, immortality, and the all-too-fleeting nature of existence.

Located at Merrion Square, DÉAD is the result of the Creative Pathways program, an initiative by the Irish Embassy in Berlin that fosters collaborations between arts colleges in Ireland and Germany. Bringing together talented artists from both countries, the exhibition shows off their joint creative vision. The collaboration involves various artistic disciplines, all which coalesce to explore the shared German-Irish heritage of Dracula and Nosferatu.

Commenting on the exhibition, the institute’s Director, Ulrike Gasser said: “We are delighted to welcome this hugely talented group of emerging artists from Ireland and Germany to our premises on Merrion Square to present their work in the DÉAD exhibition. The show features narratives from different European perspectives and beyond. It has been fantastic to follow the artistic and cultural exchanges throughout the programme, and to see new models for remote collaboration emerge. I encourage everyone to visit us at the Goethe-Institut to see this fantastic exhibition.”

Deathlocked Phoenix (c) Adrian Q.Vardi + Manuel McCarthy

DÉAD showcases a variety of compelling installations by talented artists. One notable piece is Evergreen by Sona Smedkova and Veronika Pfaffinger, which intricately blends physical and digital landscapes to explore the concept of immortality. Susurration, a mesmerising video creation by Stefania Smolkina and Dunk Murphy, mixes different cinematic representations of Dracula with the haunting essence of Wismar in northern Germany, where Nosferatu was filmed.

Maximiliano Sinani and Melissa Morrigan present Ana and Pack of Cigarettes, a thoughtprovoking video installation complemented by a haunting sculpture casting the shadow of a coffin. Deathlocked Phoenix (pictured) by Adrian Q. Vardi and Manuel McCarthy consists of an animated short film and a projection of a generative algorithm that reacts to the film. The film, itself, is presented as a video loop that depicts the futile efforts of a virtual vampire to escape immortality and embrace death. Lastly, Rocío Romero Grau and John Flindt’s fascinating VR installation, Last Body, Last Territory, prompts introspection on the vulnerability inherent in our bodies and minds.

Step into the captivating world of DÉAD this Halloween season, where Dracula and Nosferatu come alive in a symphony of darkness and creativity. Don’t miss this exceptional exhibition that celebrates the enduring legacies of these iconic works while exploring profound questions about life, death, and the enigmatic human experience. For more information about DÉAD and its participating artists, please visit goethe.de/Ireland.