Advertisement

Live Art in Ireland

  • Una Mannion
Chapter

Abstract

The emergence of work designated as “live art” marks a time of profound change in Irish society that has been accompanied by a growing commitment to presence and “liveness” in performance practices. This chapter examines live art practices in Ireland since 2000 through the work of four Irish practitioners: Amanda Coogan, Dominic Thorpe, Áine Phillips and Aideen Barry. These artists have been making work in a time strongly influenced by immigration, the economic boom and crash, and the revelation of pervasive and systemic abuse of both children and adults in Irish institutions. Their work creates immersive encounters in which the spectator is no longer a detached observer in a darkened auditorium but is repositioned as participant or witness to the experience of the body in the space with them.

Amanda Coogan’s durational performances stage the materiality of the female body—her spit, urine, pain, blood, her desire, her exclusion—and the efforts to contain or bleach this out. Coogan’s performances remember those absences and elisions in Irish cultural memory, such as abuses in the Magdalene Laundries and state institutions, and stage the competing discourses around women’s bodies. The site-responsive works of Dominic Thorpe and Áine Phillips situate spectators in the counter-spaces of twentieth-century Ireland, state institutions, industrial schools and Laundries, where the most vulnerable citizens were detained. Their work questions the ethics of looking, witnessing, remembering, forgetting and redress. Aideen Barry’s quirky performances interrogate the domestic spaces of post-Celtic Tiger Ireland. Like Coogan, her women, trapped in their suburban homes, continue to engage in durational acts of scrubbing and cleaning.

Bibliography

  1. “The Art of Living Dangerously”, The Irish Times, Wednesday November 28, 2001. Accessed 6 November 2016. http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/the-art-of-living-dangerously-1.339464
  2. “The savage reality of our darkest days.” Opinion, Irish Times, May 21, 2009. Accessed April 26, 2016. http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/the-savage-reality-of-our-darkest-days-1.767385
  3. “In full: Enda Kenny’s State apology to the Magdalene women.” The Journal.ie. Accessed October 30, 2016. http://www.thejournal.ie/full-text-enda-kenny-magdalene-apology-801132-Feb2013/
  4. Andrews, Kernan. “Aideen Barry Exploring Gothic Terror in Suburbia.” Galway Advertiser, July 14, 2011. Retrieved February 28, 2016. http://www.advertiser.ie/galway/article/41704/aideen-barry-exploring-gothic-terror-in-suburbia
  5. Antosik-Parsons, Kate. “A Review of Dublin Contemporary.” Artefact: The Journal of Irish Association of Art Historians 5 (2012). Accessed April 30, 2016. http://www.kateap.com/kap/Writing_files/KAP%20Dublin%20Contemporary%20Review%20.pdf
  6. Barry, Aideen. Graduate Showcase Conference, GMIT, 2013. Accessed March 28, 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wJhe3jVWy4
  7. Browne, Michelle. “Performance Art in Ireland: The New Millennium.” In Performance Art in Ireland: A History, edited by Áine Phillips. London: Live Art Development Agency, 2015.Google Scholar
  8. Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. Accessed October 30, 2016. http://www.dictionaryofobscuresorrows.com/post/36505968156/monachopsis
  9. Dunne, Aidan. “Five Star Review: Domesticity Rendered Wonderfully Weird.” Irish Times, August 2, 2016. Accessed October 30, 2016. http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/art-and-design/visual-art/five-star-review-domesticity-rendered wonderfully-weird-1.2737454.
  10. Fitpatrick, Mike. “Through My Eyes and My Body.” In Amanda Coogan, edited by John O’Regan, Kinsale: Profile, 2005.Google Scholar
  11. Foucault, Michel. “Of Other Spaces: Utopias and Heterotopias.” In Architecture /Mouvement/ Continuité (March 1967, “Des Espace Autres”, Translated from the French by Jay Miskowiec. Accessed February 26, 2016. http://web.mit.edu/allanmc/www/foucault1.pdf
  12. Franko B. Artist’s Website. Accessed November 6, 2016, http://www.franko-b.com/I_Miss_You.html
  13. Gilsford, Bean. “At Home on the Edge: Interview with Aideen Barry.” Daily Serving: An International Publication for Contemporary Art. Accessed February 28, 2016. http://dailyserving.com/2011/08/at-home-on-the-edge-interview-with-aideen-barry/.
  14. Haughton, Miriam. “Flirting with the Postmodern: Moments of Change in Contemporary Irish Theatre, Performance and Culture” Irish Studies Review 22:3 (2014): 374–392.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Meaney, Gerardine. Gender, Ireland and Cultural Change: Race, Sex and Nation. New York: Routledge, 2010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Mey, Kerstin. Art and Obscenity. London: I.B. Tauris, 2007.Google Scholar
  17. O’Connell, Brenda. “‘The Horror, the Horror’: Performing ‘The Dark Continent’ in Amanda Coogan’s The Fountain and Samuel Beckett’s Not I.” In Radical Contemporary Theatre Practices by Women in Ireland, edited by Miriam Haughton and Mária Kurdi. Dublin: Carysfort Press, 2015.Google Scholar
  18. Phillips, Áine, ed. Performance Art in Ireland: A History. London: Live Art Development Agency, 2015.Google Scholar
  19. ———. “Dominic Thorpe| Hardy Langer: The Artist Will be Present Galway May 2010.” Paper Visual Art Journal, July 21, 2010. Accessed November 25, 2016.Google Scholar
  20. ———. Website. Accessed April 19, 2016. ainephillips.com/section/237254_REDRESS.html.
  21. ———. Artist’s Website, Áine Phillips. Accessed April 26, 2016. http://ainephillips.com/section/314535_EMOTIONAL_LABOUR_2012.html.
  22. Pine, Emilie. “Commemorating Abuse: Gender Politics and Making Space.” UCD Scholarcast Series 8 (Spring 2013) Irish Memory Studies Research Network Lectures Series editor Emilie Pine, General Editor P.J. Matthews, 6. Accessed April 26, 2016. http://www.ucd.ie/scholarcast/transcripts/Gender_politics_and_making_space.pdf
  23. Ruane, Frances. “A Provocative Performance.” Irish Arts Review 21:2 (2004): 52–35.Google Scholar
  24. Smith, James. Ireland’s Magdalen Laundries and the Nation’s Architecture of Containment. Notre Dame Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 2007.Google Scholar
  25. Thorpe, Dominic. “Working with stories of other people’s traumatic experiences: Questions of responsibility as an artist.” Arts in Health (2015). artsinhealth.ie. Accessed April 5, 2016. http://www.artsandhealth.ie/perspectives/working-with-stories-of-other-peoples-traumatic-experiences-questions-of-responsibility-as-an-artist/.
  26. ———. Talking About Perpetrators. Irish Memory Studies Network, UCD, at Dublin Castle, October 29, 2015. Accessed December 16, 2016. http://irishmemorystudies.com/index.php/memory-cloud/#thorpe.
  27. ———. NCAD Lecture. December 8, 2016. Accessed 16th December 2016. https://media.heanet.ie/page/679225cdd1a9265c498badfe53c5f0d5.
  28. Walsh, Helena. “Medea”, in Brutal Silences: Live Art and Irish Culture, edited by Ann Maria Healy and Helena Walsh. A Study Room Guide for the Study Room of the Live Art Development Agency, London, 2011. Accessed April 28, 2016. http://www.thisisliveart.co.uk/uploads/documents/SRG_brutal_silences_2011_reducedsize.pdf.
  29. ———. “Redress.” In Brutal Silences: Live Art and Irish Culture, edited by Ann Maria Healy and Helena Walsh. A Study Room Guide for the Study Room of the Live Art Development Agency, London, 2011. Accessed April 28, 2016. http://www.thisisliveart.co.uk/uploads/documents/SRG_brutal_silences_2011_reducedsize.pdf

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Una Mannion
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Technology SligoSligoIreland

Personalised recommendations