Launch of PERFECTION exhibition

Science Gallery

Thursday 20th June 2019

Your Excellency, Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen, good evening,

The launch of a new exhibition in Science Gallery is always an event. And this evening’s is particularly exciting: for the first time an exhibition comes to us through our global network: PERFECTION has travelled to Dublin from Science Gallery in the University of Melbourne – the third science gallery in our global network, after Trinity’s and King’s College London.

This is the first of many exhibitions that will travel to Dublin through our network. Our own Science Gallery Dublin exhibitions have gone out around into the world - over 2 million people worldwide have visited our touring exhibitions in New York, Singapore, Manila, Bergamo, and Moscow. It’s exciting now to be the recipient of Melbourne’s.

We’re delighted to welcome His Excellency, Richard Andrews, the Australia’s Ambassador in Ireland. His presence here with us this evening marks the importance of the occasion: the transmission of Australian art, science and curatorship to Dublin.

Science Gallery was opened in 2008 as a unique initiative: ‘where Science and Art collide’ is the wonderful tagline.

In Science Gallery we exhibit science visually. We bring scientists, artists, philosophers, engineers, computer scientists and curators together to design exhibitions that enthuse and challenge people, and explore science at its boundaries.

These exhibitions have the capacity to introduce people to challenging and complex issues. The power of Science Gallery’s approach is that exhibitions founded on scientific research are explored in very human ways that we can connect with.

Science Gallery exhibitions amply demonstrate how science affects all aspects of our lives – from leisure and entertainment, to security, to the workplace, to learning and the natural world. Science Gallery is a creative platform that brings together different perspectives and it’s a space to consider often challenging questions about what future we want to build.

Science Gallery was global in outlook from the start - science and art are universal and they are porous. A society and culture which seals itself off from the world will not progress artistically and scientifically in the way that more open, collaborative societies do.

Extending the science gallery network around the world is a natural progression from our founding principles. A global network enables us to share and collaborate on research, innovation, and the visual arts: it engages people with global issues that affect all of us living on the planet.

This exhibition that opens tonight is fully illustrative of the universality of science and art. Conceived and curated in Melbourne, it resonates here in Dublin.

  • Why do humans strive for perfection?
  • Is increased usage of technology bringing us closer to perfection or increasing our desire for it in dangerous ways?

These are important, timely, relevant questions and I look forward to exploring this exhibition in full.

Science Gallery Dublin has almost a half a million visitors annually - 40 percent of them are 15 to 25 year olds; many are younger again. I’m delighted that they will be getting to see international work of this calibre.

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It’s not perfection that we seek to inspire. Voltaire called perfection the enemy of the good, and Churchill called it the enemy of progress, and I think Picasso called it the enemy of creativity. I believe this exhibition shares their reservations.

Instead of seeking perfection, Science Gallery seeks to understand why humans pursue perfection. Which is a different question altogether. I look forward to considering some of the answers.

I hope everyone here this evening, and all future visitor enjoy this exhibition. Our thanks and congratulations to Science Gallery Melbourne.

Thank you.

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