ABOUT

Irish artist David Franklin

Photo by Ari Saarto

David Franklin is a visual artist working primarily with painting, drawing, and video. His work is situated at the intersection of contemporary art, cinema, and literature, and draws on elements of each to engage with the relationship between subjective experience and our surrounding environments, which in his work can be geometric as well as conceptual spaces. These explorations of environment also include a preoccupation with natural forces, geology, and astrobiology, disciplines which clash in his work against mythology and other cultural interpretations of the non-human world.


He has exhibited and participated in residency programmes internationally, including residencies at Hangar and La Escocesa (Barcelona), and Youkobo Art Space (Tokyo), and has received grants from the Generalitat de Catalunya (government of Catalonia) and the Institut Ramon Llull (Catalonia), among others. His current project Out of Earth and Sky, an ongoing series of works made in collaboration with several butoh dancers (including members of the groups Dairakudakan and Sankai Juku), was selected for a development grant and production workshop by the Bucharest International Dance Film Festival, and has been supported by grants from Youkobo Art Space and the Ministry of Culture, Japan; the Institut Ramon Llull; and Hangar, centre for research and production in visual arts (Barcelona). The first film from this project, A Crooked Path Through the Dark (2022), has been screened at festivals and presentations internationally.


In 2023 he curated a special programme of butoh films for the Choreoscope International Dance Film Festival (Barcelona), with screenings on the streaming platform Filmin. In 2022 he was a member of the cinema research project “Labotorio Historia(s) de la Experimentation en el Cine” led by director Andrés Duque at Barcelona art centre Santa Mónica, for which he produced the video artwork A Spectral Viewer, exploring collapsing boundaries of realism and reality in media and the consequences of our increasingly virtual existence on the other side of the screen. From 2015 until 2017 he was the curator and programmer for a series of publicly-funded film screenings at Barcelona art centre La Escocesa called “Projections from the Underground”. He has also produced research projects and artworks in collaboration with institutions such as Idensitat (Barcelona), and given artist presentations at art and academic institutions including Musashino Art University, Tokyo.

  • Solo Exhibitions

2018    Curse, Youkobo Art Space, Tokyo, Japan.
2015    Reclamation, Espai M, La Escocesa, Barcelona, Spain.
2012    TIER, KKKB, Barcelona, Spain.
2010    New Work, Nroom artspace, Tokyo, Japan.
2009    Ruins, Youkobo Art Space, Tokyo, Japan.

  • Selected Group Exhibitions and Screenings

2023    A Crooked Path Through The Dark, Official Selection, Choreoscope International Dance Film Festival, Barcelona, Spain.
2023    A Crooked Path Through The Dark, Official Selection, Moviate Underground Film Festival, Pennsylvania, USA.
2023    A Crooked Path Through The Dark, Official Selection, Internationales Festival Zeichen der Nacht, Berlin, Germany. >> Main Jury Award, International Competition Cinema in Transgression.
2023    A Crooked Path Through The Dark, Official Selection, Interface Video Art Festival, Rijeka, Croatia.
2023    A Crooked Path Through The Dark, Official Selection, Festival internazionale Segni della notte, Urbino, Italy.
2023    A Crooked Path Through The Dark, Honourable Mention, Realtime Film Festival, London, United Kingdom.
2021    Our Garden Needs its Flowers, Tecla Sala, Hospitalet, Spain.
2019    Apariencia y experiencia, Art Contemporani Subsól, Hospitalet, Spain.
2016    Estructuras de Excepción, Homesession, Barcelona, Spain.
2016    Villa Casas Foundation Prize for Painting (shortlisted work), Can Framis Museum, Barcelona.
2015    Unsettlements, Stillpoint Spaces, Berlin, Germany.
2015
    Netherfield Park, Espai M, Barcelona, Spain.

2014    Artificialia, Cyan Gallery, Barcelona, Spain.
2014    Festival Plaga, A*desk, Barcelona, Spain.
2014    Company, Official selection, Short Shorts Film Festival, Mexico City, Mexico.
2014    El Cabinet del Dr Frankenstein, La Escocesa, Barcelona, Spain.
2013    David Franklin / Alberto Peral / Germán Portal / Isabela Servera: A Game of the Everyday,  L.A.C. Narbonne, France.
2013    D’entre les runes, La Escocesa, Barcelona, Spain.
2012    Temps Circulars, Tecla Sala, Hospitalet, Spain.
2011    Solstici 011, Tecla Sala, Hospitalet, Spain.
2011    Contemporary Art of Japan, Birkenfelds Galerija, Riga, Latvia.
2010    Niche -家に返ろう- , Nroom artspace, Tokyo, Japan.
2009    ULTRA Emerging Directors’ Art Fair, Spiral, Tokyo, Japan.
2009    -Niche-  return home, Nroom artspace, Tokyo, Japan.

  • Artist In Residence

2017 – 2018    Youkobo Art Space, Suginami-ku, Tokyo, Japan.
2017 – 2018    Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain.
2016 – 2017    Hangar, Barcelona, Spain.

2012 – 2016    La Escocesa, Barcelona, Spain.
2010 – 2012    TPK, Tecla Sala, Hospitalet, Spain.
2008 – 2009    Youkobo Art Space, Suginami-ku, Tokyo, Japan.

  • Grants

2017    Grant for Promotion of Visual Art Abroad. Institut Ramon Llull, Barcelona, Spain.
2017    Resident Returnee Programme, Youkobo Art Space / Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan.
2013    Grant for Promotion of Visual Art Abroad (group award). Institut Ramon Llull, Barcelona, Spain.
2013    Grant for Production and Exhibition of New Work. La Escocesa, Barcelona, Spain.
2012    Grant for artistic creation for visual artists. The Department of Culture, Government of Catalonia, Spain.

  • Publications & Texts

2024    Suzuki Seijun and Postwar Japanese Cinema, review for Alphavile Journal of Film and Screen Media. Read here. 
2022    Projections from the Underground, writings on cinema by David Franklin. Read here. 
2021    Untitled Drawings, by David Franklin. Self-published. ISBN: 978-84-09-29872-3 More info here. 
2019    Paratext #36, by David Franklin. Hangar, Barcelona, Spain. Link to read here. 
2018    Paratext Vol. 2, edited and published by Hangar, Barcelona, Spain.
2016    Empire of Rats, by David Franklin, published by Idensitat, Barcelona, Spain. More info here.

  • Curation / Presentations / Other Activities

2023     Curator, programmer, and writer for special programme on butoh and film, Dancing from the Shadows, for the Choreoscope International Dance Film Festival, Barcelona, with online screenings on the streaming platform Filmin. Read more here.
2023     Invited speaker for artist presentations at Musashino Art University and Joshibi University of Art and Design, Tokyo, Japan.
2022     Member of the research group Laboratorio Historia(s) de la Experimantación en el Cine, led by director Andrés Duque, at Santa Mónica art centre, Barcelona.
2020     Invited speaker for artist presentation at Musashino Art University, Tokyo, Japan.
2019     Bucharest International Dance Film Festival. Out of Earth and Sky selected for the Expand Lab for innovative projects in development.
2018     Crystallizing Ideas – Youkobo Returnee Residence Program, artist talk by David Franklin, Youkobo Art Space, Tokyo, Japan.
2017     Laboratorio del No Hacer, presentation of “Welcome, Visitors”, Blueproject Foundation, Barcelona.
2017     Paratext no. 15, presentation of “Welcome, Visitors”, Hangar, Barcelona, Spain.
2015 – 2017     Curator / programmer for Projections from the Underground, film screenings of underground and experimental cinema at La Escocesa, Barcelona.
2015 – 2016     Participant in the workshop / research project Estructuras de Excepción, led by Ángela Bonadies and organised by Idensitat, Barcelona.

  • Education

English and Film Studies, double major BA (Hons). University College Dublin (NUI), Dublin, Ireland.