Past Exhibition

The Hopeless End of a Great Dream

Declan Clarke - 26 May to 23 July 2016

Belfast Exposed is pleased to present The Hopeless End of a Great Dream, a major new film commission by Declan Clarke. This 16mm feature length film was co-commisioned by Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, Centre Culturel Irlandais Paris and Trinity Creative. 

Using Trinity College Dublin as a backdrop, the film takes a number of forgotten episodes in Irish history as its starting point. Clarke grounds these episodes in the political present, so that they function as commentaries on the causes, effects, and ongoing ramifications of the current political climate. Visually and thematically referencing the tropes of post war European cinema, Clarke blurs real and fictional stories to create a complex palimpsest of narrative development, compelling characters and mysterious events.

Artist Biography

Declan Clarke (b.1974) studied at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, and Chelsea College of Arts, London. Recent solo exhibitions include: Torrence Art Museum, Los Angeles; Farbvision, Berlin, Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris, all forthcoming in 2016; The Hopeless End of Great Dream, Temple Bar Gallery & Studios, ongoing; Geist Trilogie, Tromsø Kunstforening, Norway, 2016; Wreckage in May, Dublin City Gallery the Hugh Lane, 2015; Group Portrait with Explosives, Mother's Tankstation, Dublin, 2014. In 2015, Clarke's film Group Portrait with Explosives won the Jury Prize at the 31st Biennale of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Exhibition Events

Friday 27 May, 2pm
Artist Talk

Saturday 28th May, 11th June, 2nd July, 2pm
Artist Screening Programme in partnership with Belfast Film Festival
To accompany the exhibition of The Hopeless End of a Great Dream we will show a series of Clarke's previous film works in the Beanbag Cinema. 

28 May: We Are Not Like Them, 45 minutes, 2013

11 June: The Most Cruel of All Goddesses, 60 minutes, 2015

2 July: Wreckage in May, 36 minutes, 2015 

Saturday 23 July, 11am - 4pm
Film Masterclass in partnership with Visual Artists Ireland

Declan Clarke will provide a one day masterclass for artists working with the moving image. For more information please contact

Saturday 23 July, 6.30pm
In Conversation + Screening at QFT
Declan Clarke will open up his cinematic influences at this special event at Queen's Film Theatre


This exhibition was made possible by the generous support of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Arts Council Ireland, Belfast City Council, Trinity Creative. Thanks to our exhibition partners Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, Centre Culturel Irlandais Paris and Trinity Creative and to our events partners Visual Artists Ireland, Belfast Film Festival and Queen's Film Theatre.