IMMA is hosting ROADKILL on Thu 12th February; an evening of live performance, installation, video and music by multi-disciplinary artists, programmed in parallel to the Primal Architecture exhibition. Featuring artists Jenny Brady , Sandra Davoren, Elaine Leader, Eoghan Ryan, Smilin’ Kanker and Przem SHREM Zając the night will also mark the launch of the Primal Architecture publication. We asked Séamus McCormack, Project Coordinator of Exhibitions at IMMA, to tell us more about this project and how it connects with the overall exhibition.
Essentially a footnote to the Primal Architecture exhibition, ROADKILL presents alternative, opposing and contradictory explorations of instinctual and primal concerns. The project presents a diversification of propositions exploring themes of framing, duality, structure, sexuality and appropriation, and the artists involved employ devices such as collage, remix and disruption.
Primal Architecture artist Mike Kelley had the ability to work across widespread media and disciplines, liberating and borrowing from diverse sources and reference points. A sculptor, painter, noise musician, writer and teacher, Kelley’s practice traversed, cited and footnoted. Like Kelley, the practitioners included in ROADKILL, in their various ways, offer temporary, experimental, diverse and paradoxical viewpoints, where subjective readings are invited.
Mike Kelley’s mixed media installation, Performance Related Objects, was key when thinking about the project. Arranged on a wooden platform are a number of objects or ‘props’ that relate to the first performances carried out by Kelley while he was a student at CalArts, California in the late 1970s. The objects fuse futuristic and minimalist references and carry within them the history of the original performances, for which documentation can be viewed in the accompanying photographs. Topics explored in the performances include reverse perspective, both visual and auditory, and the relationship between the objects and the body. What happens to these objects after a performance is over is a question that I was concerned with when thinking about ROADKILL. The status of these objects is ambiguous once the performative action is completed; an excellent example of literature and a constant reference in developing the project is this publication ‘Not to Play with Dead Things’ (image below)
One of the aims of ROADKILL is to reflect on psychological and formal significance and the criteria we as individuals use to categorise. As viewers, we bring our own sense of self, our own subjectivity and our own cultural references. The artists in this project offer individual viewpoints into a complex two-way system. What is often left behind is an instinctual reaction, the remainders of an action and the afterthoughts of our associations.
We wanted to feature a range of diverse practices from various disciplines. ROADKILL includes a multimedia performance by Eoghan Ryan and a temporary interactive installation by Elaine Leader. Through his alter ego – Smilin’ Kanker, Ciarán O’Keeffe will give a unique guided tour of the Primal Architecture exhibition and the evening will include a musical selection by Przem SHREM Zając. Also included is an installation of sculpture and drawing by Sandra Davoren which will draw on themes of metamorphosis and zoomorphism and video artist Jenny Brady will present a new work entitled Bone.
We also plan to launch the Primal Architecture exhibition publication on the same evening. Fully illustrated and including installation images from IMMA, the publication includes a number of newly commissioned texts. It is introduced by the curator of the exhibition Rachael Thomas, who writes about the genesis and curatorial framework. Doug Harvey – a Los Angeles-based writer, curator and artist offers a text about his friend and colleague Mike Kelley’s unique practice. Maeve Connolly, writer, researcher and lecturer writes about the new media works in the exhibition. David McConnell, Professor of Genetics at Trinity College, Dublin, offers a rich reading of what it is to be primal – discussing primal events of the known universe and questioning whether they can tell us anything about art and the creative impulses of artists. I write about the curatorial framework of the ROADKILL project. Our publication also includes contributions from two of the exhibiting artists, Linder and Bedwyr Williams. It will be on sale in both the IMMA shop, and online here. You can preview David McConnell’s essay, in an excerpt from the Primal Architecture catalogue, online on our new issuu account.
David McConnell is speaking at IMMA on Monday 2nd February and we have a series of talks on key themes from the exhibition taking palce on Wed 11th and Friday 13th February. See the Primal Architecture exhibition page for more details.
ROADKILL will be launched on Thursday, 12th of February, 6-8pm at IMMA and we hope you can join us.
Séamus McCormack, Project Coordinator: Exhibitions, IMMA.
Listen to Séamus’ audio introduction to Primal Architecture: