IMMA BLOG

Irish Museum of Modern Art

Artist’s Voice: holding onto nothing

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We recently invited artist Teresa Gillespie to respond to a current IMMA exhibition by influential Italian artist Carol Rama (1918 – 2014) entitled; The Passion According to Carol Rama (IMMA Main Galleries until 1 August 2016). An excerpt from Teresa’s response is below, and the full text can be be read by clicking through to the PDF below. Teresa will also perform as part of Listen, Hissen, Hessin!, a one-night roving soundscape taking place within the Carol Rama exhibition at IMMA on Wednesday 22 June 2016.


Carol Rama, "Appassionata Passionate", 1943

When something is cut, something flows.

When Rama speaks, she cuts her own flows, turns left, does u-turns, spins round. She produces disorientation and disperses herself. She’s not going here or there, not becoming this or that. I wake up with the words ‘freedom to be no one’ in my head, from the Xenofeminisim Manifesto. But I misremember the words, which actually read, ‘the right of everyone to speak as no one in particular.’ I’m jealous of Rama’s loose tongue, how it splits and twists through contradictions. She practices the freedom of detachment. There is nothing to hold on to. She drops a thought as quickly as she picks up another one. The story goes that because there are so many stories, Rama is a secret onto herself, but perhaps Rama’s secret is a hole.

I’m a doughnut. Eat my flesh.

Read more of Teresa’s response here. Please note this text includes language which may not be suitable for younger readers.


Teresa Gillespie is an artist based in Dublin. She works across a number of mediums including sculpture, video, sound and text. Recent solo projects include ‘moot’ ArtBox, Dublin (2015); ‘below explanation (clocks stop at 3pm and existence continues)’, Wexford Arts Centre, Wexford (2015); and ‘return to the borderland bends’, John Jones Project Space, London (2014). She has exhibited in numerous group shows in Ireland and internationally, and undertaken artist residencies such as Frankfurter Kunstverein Deutsche Borse Program. www.teresagillespie.com

The Passion According to Carol Rama is at IMMA from 24 March – 1 August 2016.

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