Irish Museum of Modern Art

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Katherine Atkinson In Response to Summer Rising

There was a sense of anticipation at the entrance to the Formal Gardens in IMMA on Saturday 19th July. The Director and members of the team were adorned with orange IMMA T Shirts, warmly welcoming people and sharing the proposed activities for the day with us. Any fleeting thoughts that there may be weariness from the previous evening’s opening of Hélio Oiticica: Propositions and the adventure of WERK disappeared. Orange is the new craic.

‘They look like they’re going to a party’

Following a ceremonial procession from the Stables to the Formal Gardens I heard a child say ‘they look like they’re going to a party.’ Members of the MA course Art in the Contemporary World, NCAD realised a selection of propositions by Oiticica as part of SUMMER RISING: The IMMA Festival. They solemnly carried the ‘Parangolés’ to the Gardens and proceeded to dress themselves in these capes and proclaim a series of propositions in response to Oiticica’s.

NCAD Oiticica’s Propositions

NCAD Oiticica’s Propositions

‘This is not a performance’ was announced ‘this is a slowly concreting proposal for public participation’ they continued. These statements became provocations ‘this is passionate insolence’ and ‘this is an insult to participation.’

Is this the time to participate? How do you challenge the proposition? We were told to ‘move closer’ however the formal and formulaic method of performance gave no physical invitation to move. The ‘Parangolés’ wrapped the actors so as to make them static and the colour and texture of the garments seemed to dissipate, as the proclamations got louder and more fervent.

Through announcing these propositions the actors were denouncing the intent of the ‘Parangolés’. ‘We are a construction of our environment’, as was this performance. Announcing ‘Trashiscapes’ I imagined using emery boards whilst lying on a mattress contemplating these images, as I circled the performance and gained a new perspective from the Penetrável Macaléia “Homenagem a Jards Macalé.”

Penetrável Macaléia “Homenagem a Jards Macalé”

Penetrável Macaléia “Homenagem a Jards Macalé”

In experiencing this response to Oiticica’s Propositions I thought much about how the exhibition was mediated, the nature of showing and the expectation of a visceral response, the exploration of cultural norms, what it means to participate, how to participate, and how to share that participation with others.

After enlightened refreshment from The Hare Café at the Tiki Hut, I ventured towards the Trade School and was diverted by the atmospheric Laptop Orchestra installation where I saw a bevy of delighted children lolling and listening, banging and dancing around a series of coloured boxes amongst the hedges. With Edible Canvas, the Mobile Art School, Panti’s Drawing & Pictionary, happy children were brimming with creativity through the garden.

In the discussion with curators César Oiticica Filho and Rachael Thomas, we heard about Oiticica’s family and his influences. I gained a new understanding of his life from César and was reminded of the Neo Concrete Manifesto (1959) which called for a reinstatement of the values of intuition, expression and subjectivity. As we listened, a child popped through the hedge next to the curators and faced the audience brightly, followed by a parental figure who could not face the audience.

César responded to a question from an audience member saying that Tropicália is the Oiticia’s most anthropophagic work – when it became a Tropicalismo Oiticica ‘did not want anything to do with it.’

Curatorial talk

 The following Saturday 26th July there was a traffic jam on Thomas St. and I wondered whether the traffic was heading for IMMA. My memory of the previous week was intense and I knew that tickets for the Banquet on Friday night and the Party on Saturday were scarce as hen’s teeth.

I arrived just in time to hear Seán MacErlaine’s rich and playful site-responsive piece for chalumeau and gongs under the trees.

Sean MacErlaine IMMA

Welcomed again by orange clad IMMA team members, I was encouraged to listen to the discussion Cultural Trends in Irish Gastronomy: Jess Murphy, Mark Garry and Michelle Darmody. We sat beneath the trees hearing stories of fresh bread, spuds, razor clams, raw fish, and more. We were given examples of food sourcing from farm to table. The Banquet menu and the installation of the formal garden in the space were described in detail. The beauty of the Banquet experience was expressed by an audience member. The image of thinly ripped seaweed delicately placed on yellow tomatoes as a reflection of the artist’s use of colour stays with me, including the description of the use of empathy and spectacle.

Walking through the gardens I came across the Mobile Art School with Karl Burke, and I was reminded of the images of the workshops during the week with teenagers by Rhona Byrne.

Mobile Art School, Karl Burke IMMA

Mobile Art School, Karl Burke IMMA

Silent walking tours wearing colour, Rhona Byrne

Silent walking tours wearing colour, Rhona Byrne

The IMMA Summer Party came back with a colourful, light filled spectacle of art, food and music. Closing the SUMMER RISING Festival, all were inspired to spend time in the IMMA galleries, formal gardens, historic Great Hall and Baroque Chapel. There was a specially commissioned edition of Gracelands|The Dark Thoughts that Surround Neon transforming IMMA’s formal gardens into a temporary outdoor gallery and cinema.

Hélio Oiticica: Propositions is an immense, immersive exhibition. Incorporating SUMMER RISING: The IMMA Festival, IMMA offered a dynamic programme that explores, questions, unravels, and plays with the notion of the visitor’s experience to a cultural institution.

Katherine Atkinson works in Project Support and Professional Development at Create, National Development Agency for Collaborative Arts


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Last Stop The Gravediggers: A dusk till dawn residency at IMMA

By Janice Hough, IMMA Residency Programmer

In partnership with EVA 2014 David Horvitz was nominated by curator Bassam El Baroni to take up residency living and working onsite at IMMA. Just before Horvitz arrived in March it was revealed he would remain on California time for the duration of his stay. With Agitationism as the theme for this year’s biennial it wasn’t a surprising twist and might be a handy way of avoiding jet lag!

Rising around 3pm and retiring in the small hours of the morning there was rarely an opportunity to have a conversation with Horvitz, he stayed in touch by email giving updates on plans to visit various sites of interest for his time in Dublin with all planned pursuits commencing after his ‘breakfast’ in the afternoon. To add to the confusion, in the middle of his residency the clocks sprung forward to summer time, adding another hour of distance to the daily routine. Around the corridors of IMMA word spread quickly of this guy who no one was going to meet! a scenario which generated a lot of curiosity, poetic resonance and humour with people.

Now that some more time and distance has passed and as part of IMMA’s group exhibition Unseen Presence, I emailed Horvitz the following questions, curious about his unique residency at the Museum.






JH: Did this experience affect your sense of time?

DH: I was trying to stay on the time of my clock, but my body was trying to adjust to the light of the day. So I had this kind of split experience. Sometimes when it was dawn in Ireland, but time for sleep for me, I would feel my body start to wake up because the sky was becoming light.

JH: What was it like being a dusk to dawn fluxus artist?

DH: It was lonely; I spent a lot of time with foxes, security guards, and trees.

JH: Where did all our spoons go?

DH: I sent them to Helga at the New Museum in New York. She maintains my stolen spoon collection. I have a large collection of spoons that have been stolen, mostly while I’m traveling. Helga has a giant box of these. Sometimes I mail them to her, like I did the ones from Ireland. But sometimes I go to the reception of the museum and hand them to security and tell them to give it to Helga. No envelopes needed.

JH: You mentioned how efficient Dublin airport is, how do we compare?

DH: I have this ongoing series where I intentionally lose watercolours when I travel through the security check of airports. They are always in a package or an envelope and have someone’s contact information. Maybe a collector or a gallery’s address. So there is a possibility that they get returned to the gallery or to the collector. My gallery in Berlin has been selling these to collectors. You basically buy the losing of a watercolour with the possibility of it returning to you. I always send an email with a photo as documentation. I was doing this for a show in India with the Kadist Art Foundation, and I lost one in Dublin. In a day or so the curator of the show was already contacted by the airport. Usually this takes weeks or months, if at all. Most stay lost. Dublin Airport was as fast as the Swiss Airports. However, I lost another one a week later in Dublin for a show at Yvon Lambert, and so far no contact. Maybe they are on to it…

JH: We haven’t found your red trousers, any clues, did you get them back?

DH: Someone has them somewhere. Maybe in Limerick. Who knows? Maybe someone is wearing them. If you see someone wearing them, make a photograph for me. If you go to my hotel room I stayed in in Limerick I left a bunch of things under the mattress of the bed. Go get it.

JH: When you arrived some of your first observations and questions were about the blossoms, where our botanical gardens are located, the sundial in the courtyard, the clock tower and if it has a bell?, how near the sea is & where to get a good all day breakfast. What resonance and continuity, if any, did these observations of seasons, time and distance and the upset of ritual have on your work in Dublin?

DH: I came in spring, and I always like to follow the progress of spring where I am. I travel a lot, so I am able to see what stage a place is at. For example I remember seeing Forsythia when I landed in Dublin, but none of the Forsythia in New York had come out yet. And there were cherries and magnolias in bloom already. I was making a slide projection, so all of this entered into the piece. These were visual observations as I wandered around Dublin… And there were times I’d come across indicators of time and distance: maps, sundials, closed shops, newspapers, clocks, etc… So they ended up as things to meditate on.

The Botanical Garden itself is a kind of disrupted space, or a geographical autonomous space. Different climates exist as little bubbles, and plants from different parts of the world can survive there. This piece was about a kind of dislocation. Or a non-time. I like to look at the shadows cast by poles at night from street lights. They are a kind of sundial, yet the lights don’t move like the sun does. It’s like this non-time. You are at night, but it’s like it’s still day. Looking at the stars was once a way of telling time, and with light pollution you lose site of the night sky. And so at night you lose this sense of telling time, and the shadows stand still.

I’m always looking for a bell to melt. I like melting time.

JH: Would you do it again?

DH: I want to do it in every time zone. And the final piece would be to experience California while living on California time.

JH: What surprised you most about this project?

DH: That if I wanted to find a fox I could. Are foxes on California time?


8am pint in the Gravediggers enroute to Dublin Airport ………………..


This text is a contributing element to Unseen Presence, a group exhibition in the Project Spaces at IMMA from 15th July until 24th August featuring various research and studio practices of selected artists on residency at the museum.

Horvitz has contributed the following edition for Unseen Presence

David Horvitz How to exit a photograph

A photographic triptych whose print quality files are openly downloadable and printable. A kind of print-your-own open-edition. The files can be taken to a photo printer and printed.
Files are sized to both 4” x 6” or 8” x 10”. To download the high resolution print files click here

In his practice, Horvitz grapples with time and standardized measurements, and the shifts that occur when natural phenomena are subjected to manmade systems and vice versa. Recent solo exhibitions include: concurrent shows at Jan Mot, Brussels, and Dawid Radziszewski Gallery, Warsaw; Peter Amby, Copenhagen; Statements, Art Basel; Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen; and Chert, Berlin. His work has been shown at EVA International 2014, Glasgow International 2014, LIAF 2013, MoMA, The Kitchen, and the New Museum. Horvitz is represented by Chert Gallery, Berlin.

Janice Hough, IMMA’s Residency Programmer, July 2014

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Back to Werk

She hasn’t missed a single Issue of WERK thus far (well, she didn’t make it to the Melbourne one, but apart from that)…Soracha Pelan Ó Treasaigh, from Dublin, is blogging for IMMA today about what makes the shows so special. She has dedicated her life to culture both high and low, and when not attending events (or watching 90s sitcoms), she works in the Irish Film Institute, with previous roles in the Dublin Theatre Festival and the Festival of World Cultures.


Jenny (one half of THISISPOPBABY) and I were working together when she and Phillip (the other half) were figuring out just what this club would be that the Abbey Theatre had agreed to let them do in the basement. And Jenny was nervous.

Jenny’s fear of starting a club night was that she would end up alone in the toilets crying while the DJ played to an empty hall – but supporting a friend wasn’t my only motivation in buying a ticket (just before it inevitably sold out!). This seemed like a chance to go to something different rather than your typical club night out in Dublin – which generally involved an ill-advised trip to any late night bar that would still serve you after midnight and you might get a (cheesy) bop out of it. So: performance and art as a club, Thisispopbaby, the Abbey Theatre = great expectations.

It came at a time when things in Dublin, and things in the arts industry had become pretty depressing; if you were lucky enough to actually have a job, and even one you actually like, you still could barely make the rent (not much has changed on that front.) The people of WERK promised to take you out of this for a spell, and create an alternative, creative, ridiculous space for you to dig out some thrift store finds from your wardrobe that you never found quite the right occasion for and let your hair down.

I had no idea what to expect – the Peacock Theatre bar I didn’t remember being all that big, or somewhere you’d want to spend an entire night in – but it really was completely transformed. Glitter and gold curtains and lights and all the rest. No space wasted. Performance in the cloakroom, in the jacks, on the drinks menu. Not half assed, and total commitment and attention to detail in order to submerge the audience in the thisispopbaby world.

It’s hard to paint a clear picture without experiencing it – and each time I’ve been it’s something different. It’s a combination of neo-cabaret, performance and then clearing the stage (or getting on the stage) and dancing the night away. My (blurry in some cases) memories are all about having a great night –  the crowd scream singing Things Can Only Get Better in unison as if we were the only people in Dublin that night, The Banana Boat Song with actions performed ala Beetlejuice led by DJ Chewy Chewerson, and then quieter moments from artists experimenting with the space – Ciaran O’Melia in his underwear singing Someone to Watch Over Me, Megan Riordan’s emo- kid rendition of LCD Soundsystem, the hilarious Rubber Bandits (before they were famous), the wonderfully talented Lisa Hannigan – and in such intimate surroundings where the boundaries between performer and audience feel non-existent. All that and then they also manage to slip in some beautifully subversive, challenging and honest moments – one in particular has stuck with me, when compére Neil Watkins performed a lip synch rendition of Michael O’Brien’s harrowing account of abuse from RTÉ’s Questions and Answers.

What makes WERK special is that it can be all at once frivolous, meaningful, wild, fun and subversive – a rare and full experience for a night on the tiles – so bring an open mind and go with it.

And of course, there’s that night it all ended up in a rave at the back of a Chinese restaurant on Parnell Street.

Soracha Pelan Ó Treasaigh July 2014

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Free Family Events at SUMMER RISING

Free Family Day’s Out at IMMA as part of SUMMER RISING: The IMMA Festival


The Irish Museum of Modern Art presents, SUMMER RISING: The IMMA Festival, with a line-up of events that invites everyone to come and enjoy a jam packed programme with something for all ages from Friday 18 July to Saturday 26 July 2014. As part of SUMMER RISING, on Saturday 19 and Saturday 26 July, IMMA presents two days of free day long activities for families to enjoy from 12noon to 5pm.

Highlights on Saturday 19 July include a workshop in decorating your own Edible Gingerbread Canvas where you can feast on your own creation; join in on an electro-pop céilí with dance duo Up and Over It; drop into our day long art workshop inspired by the Hélio Oiticica exhibition, play an instrument in our musical garden with the Trade School/Laptop Orchestra, Rocketman will lead the whole family through ways to pickle and preserve your vegetables, and watch out for our special guest Panti Bliss!

On Saturday 26 July the fun continues, the formal gardens will be alive with sounds as a series of free musical performances pop up in the lawns, with site responsive performances by Seán Mac Erlaine, The BQ Trio, Roland Gomez and rock and pop covers choir The Line Up, and an interactive installation Wow&Flutter by Jimmy Eadie. Join in on our foodie workshops butter making with Imen McDonnell of Modern Farmette, fish smoking with Sally Barnes of Woodcock Smokery, and learn how to forage for Irish seaweed with Sally McKenna.

Taking place in IMMA’s beautiful gardens and historic North Wing, in celebration of the much anticipated exhibition Propositions by Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica, SUMMER RISING promises to be a joyous celebration of art, music, food, and performance.

Highlights for families at SUMMER RISING include:

The Garden Rising, Saturday 19 July, 12noon – 5pm

12noon onwardsEdible Canvas workshop
Families can choose to feast on their own artistic gingerbread creations after drawing with icing, inspired by images of Hélio Oiticica costumes.

12noon onwards: Day long family art workshop

Make your own colourful art inspired by the Hélio Oiticica exhibition.

12noon onwards: Trade School/Lap top Orchestra create a Musical Garden
Using the hedgerows and pathways in the formal garden as instruments which you are invited to “play”.

2:00 – 3:00pm: Join in with dance duo Up and Over It in the formal garden as they continue to stretch the concept of Irish dancing to its limits, including electro-pop, alternative percussion, and contemporary dance in the mix.

2pm – 3.30pm: Pickling workshop with Rocketman
Jack Crotty from Cork will lead the whole family through ways to pickle and preserve your vegetables. Booking required, email

The Garden Rising, Saturday 26 July, 12noon – 5.00pm

12noon onwards: Free musical performances will pop up throughout the day in IMMA’s formal gardens, with site responsive performances by Seán Mac Erlaine, The BQ Trio, Roland Gomez and rock and pop covers choir The Line Up. Also presenting an interactive installationWow&Flutter by Jimmy Eadie. Just come along and enjoy the music.

12noon onwards: Day long family art workshop 
Make your own colourful art inspired by the Hélio Oiticica exhibition.

12noon – 1.30pmButter making workshop with Imen McDonnell
Imen, or as she is better known Modern Farmette, married an Irish farmer and moved from New York to the farm where she has made butter ever since. She will talk you through making your own using milk from her dairy herd. Booking required, email

1.30pm -3pmUsing Irish seaweed with Sally McKenna
Sally will talk us through of the ways to forage and collect the seaweed that lines our shores. They will also introduce ways of cooking and incorporating this nutritious ingredient it into our diet. Booking required, email

3.30pm -5pmFish smoking workshop with Sally Barnes

Sally will teach you how to creating a biscuit tin smoker and smoke fish caught in the West of Cork. Booking required, email

Midweek Events for Families:

Mornings at the Museum
Wednesday and Thursday, 10am – 11am

Free family workshop where where children and parents can explore artworks and making art together.

Babies in Buggies, Parents with Prams
Fridays, 10:45am – 11:30am
Join us for a free tour of selected exhibitions.

Visit for a full list of events and for further details. We hope to see you there!

SUMMER RISING will open up our gardens and grounds with day and night time events and is made possible by the OPW Per Cent for Art Scheme.

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SUMMER RISING Music by Aoife Flynn

IMMA’s new festival SUMMER RISING incorporates food, art, music, film, workshops, performance, gardens and more over two weeks of activities for all ages taking place all around the IMMA site. Music curator Aoife Flynn talks about her highlights and what to expect from both the daytime GARDEN RISING and night-time SUMMER PARTY music programmes on Saturday 26th July, 2014.

SUMMER RISING is a new approach for IMMA allowing for a huge amount of collaboration, while also providing a new way of looking at, and experiencing, the entirety of the IMMA site at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham. There’s a spirit of exploration and discovery inherent in the project, not only in a physical and spatial dimension but also in a sensory one, where audiences get to have their have their eyes, ears and taste buds opened to new experiences over the two weeks.

The major summer exhibition at IMMA is Propositions by the late Brazilian artist Helio Oiticia, and his concern with colour, movement, immersive experience, community, interaction, performance, and the desire to bring the audience into the work have all been key jumping off points for the music programme. I’m particularly interested in Oiticica’s relationship to audience; how the work is triggered by the audience, and only really exists within this interaction of the audience. A key focus is to create spaces of immersion and surprise that will transport the audience and make them reflect on the specific situation of the performance, an aspect of the site at IMMA. Oiticicia’s work is also particularly focused on being accessible to the public, and dissolving any intellectual, social or cultural barriers to engagement. The music programme, and SUMMER RISING as a whole, echoes this concern by encompassing a mixture of free public pop-up events during the daytime, and more formal ticketed events at night.

Daytime Music: GARDEN RISING, from 12pm

I’ve selected five very special artists to work with on the Garden Rising, all of who will respond to the site, or the audience…or both, with a combination of live and installed sound work.

Running all day and night in the heritage rooms of the North Range, you can experience a beautiful interactive work by Jimmy Eadie called Wow&Flutter. Played on acetate lacquers over eight vintage turntables, this work features two compositions that the visitor can control – choosing which side, which speed and where on the track each turntable should begin, thus allowing you to directly manipulate the sound and create your own unique listening experience.

In the Formal Gardens we have four live performances, each about 30mins in length, popping up in the enclosed lawns at the end of the gardens over the course of the day. These lawns are like hidden outdoor rooms, each enclosed by 7ft hedges calling to mind The Secret Garden. When you’re on the terrace or upper lawns they’re hidden from view, but if you venture into the gardens, you’ll be rewarded with beautiful music from Seán Mac Erlaine, The BQ Trio, The Line Up choir and Roland Gomez. Visitors are able to follow the sounds…and other listeners disappearing into the Gardens.

Seán is performing an improvised, site-specific piece for chalumeau and gongs; The BQ Trio bring their minimalist country disco and their 4-handed guitarist for some harmonic tunes; the twenty-strong Line Up Choir will bring their pop and soul favourites to IMMA for some sunny sing-a-longs and Roland is playing on the Integral Hang, a very unique instrument hand crafted by Pan-Art in Switzerland that makes a beautiful otherworldly sound.



Roland Gomez

The music on the day is complimented by foodie treats from Concrete Tiki’s The Cake Café (€20, book here). There is also Open studios with IMMA’s resident artists and free food workshops: pickling with The Rocket Man, fish smoking with Sally Barnes, butter making with McNally Family Farm and an edible canvas workshop for children.


As day turns to night we move towards the grand suite of heritage rooms in the North Range for music, food, bespoke cocktails and a specially commissioned edition of GRACELANDS, featuring artists’ film and interventions in the formal Gardens.

Tickets for the SUMMER PARTY, which runs from 7.30pm, are €15 and special food and drink will be available to purchase on the night from House and Luncheonette. The idea is to come early, explore Propositions, the Helio Oiticia exhibition (open from 7pm – 8pm) grab some food and explore the music and other art happenings on offer.

The magnificent Baroque Chapel, with its oak panelled walls and moulded plaster ceiling, plays host to live sets from Somerville and Gang Colours and is rounded off with a two-hour closing set from legendary DJ Donal Dineen.



Somerville creates experimental music influenced by the rugged and barren landscapes of her native Connemara on Ireland’s west coast. From the small Gaeltacht village of Corr na Móna, Maria Somerville’s music contains folk roots and electronic textures. Inspired from an early age by her late uncle Michael, hearing him sing at family gatherings and local sessions. It was a haunting and enchanting experience, and she noticed how the adults around her seemed to get lost in both his voice and the depth of meaning in the song. The lyrics of these old songs, like the Rocks of Bawn or the Lambs on the Green Hill, evoke poignant memories of place, struggle and lost loves, themes now reflected in her own lyrics. Influences are also from old civil rights anthems, soul and R&B. Her study of jazz guitar influences her writing further as these traditions began to synthesise into her current and evolving musical output. One of the State’s faces of 2014, she played a beautiful set at Drop Everything this May and her name has been carried on the western wind ever since.

As a portal into a world of daydreams, tumbling into shadows and embracing luminescence simultaneously, Gang Colours turns drum patterns into magic. Breeding surreal headphone-friendly landscapes, he fills them with unexpected sounds that would otherwise seem out of place. At times his sound effects strike a peculiar balance between otherworldly and familiarity. At other points, they conjure a sense of longing.

His impressive 2012 debut, The Keychain Collection, was followed by 2013’s Invisible in your City, both on Gilles Petersons’s Brownswood label. He might draw easy comparisons with James Blake, but this is a warmer sound, with more heart. Think Mount Kimbie with a playful sense of humour, Burial on a soft, sunny dancefloor, Gold Panda with an R&B lean.

We’ll have a DJ room operating all night with sets from Emmet Condon (Homebeat) and 11:11 and an all-vinyl set from David Kitt. Expect house, soul, hip-hop, disco, and lots of beats for dancing feet.

So come early and stay late, explore the site and explore the sights, sounds and tastes of IMMA’s SUMMER RISING. Saturday 26th July 2014, 7pm – 2am. Buy Tickets €15

Aoife has put together a youtube playlist of the music artists appearing at SUMMER RISING that you can listen to here







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