IMMA – Irish Museum of Modern Art

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Calling Participants! CVLTO DO FVTVRV comes to IMMA as part of ‘Wilder Beings Command!’


Artist Stephan Doitschinoff, currently exhibiting at IMMA as part of As Above, So Below: Portals, Visions, Spirits & Mystics, will return to IMMA this July to present the CVLTO DO FVTVRV procession, a parade conceived in partnership with philosophical society CVLTO DO FVTVRV. The parade will be part of an exciting outdoor evening of performances at IMMA titled Wilder Beings Command! 

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In the Silence of the Night:: Live performances at SUMMER RISING 2015

I went to a reading of Etel Adnan’s in the Serpentine last year and I was really taken with her use of language and with her exhibition at IMMA, and so the idea behind the curated series of performances at the IMMA Summer Party came about. In the Silence of the night is a line taken from Etel Adnan’s novel Sitt Marie Rose; the style of writing is a mixture of conversations, news bulletins, monologues, and interviews. The idea was to engage with open forms of expression, through spoken word, live art, sculpture and music. The performances were experimental in design but ultimately were a celebration of live gestures and collaborations.

The performances were staged in the garden terrace, the courtyard and the formal gardens aSummerRising 2015 photography credit Fiona Morgan.293t IMMA, punctuating the evening. The garden terrace was intimate and allowed for the audience to come and go during performances.

The night began with Ruth Proctor; tap dancers interpreting the sound of a Columbian rainstorm that was recorded by the artist. Each tap dancer did a solo interpretation until it reached a crescendo with three dancers on stage. The effect was immediate; drawing people from the gardens and the Great Hall by the amplified sound of the dancers.

Dimitra Xidous’ rhythmic poetry set the stage for the first of the spoken word performances. Her style is performative in delivery and both personal and humorous: the audience responded with loud laughter and applause after every poem.

Next we had Sarah Jones, who wrote a play in response to IMMA Collection Fragments – Jones and a collaborator acting a play referenced the setting and the historical nature of the IMMA/Royal Hospital Kilmainham building, as well as Deborah Brown’s Glass Fibre Form Orange in particular as it currently hangs with the Bird of Paradise flower, and Gordon Lambert’s collection. The descriptive nature of the piece allowed the audience to imagine themselves within the east wing looking at the piece. The audience was engrossed in listening so as not to miss a piece of the story.

SummerRising 2015 photography credit Fiona Morgan.354Ella De Burca stormed the stage with ‘Aphorisms: I Knew That Word Once’. It involved four actors who played historical individuals from the past – Rilke, Wagner, Mann and Beuys. The actors debated about concepts of art and creative freedom. De Burca conducted the debates until they collapsed into chaos as the voices competed to be heard. It was an energetic, humorous performance and the audience responded with the same enthusiasm as it was delivered.


Sally Rooney followed with a reading from her new poems, which talked about love and relationships and the trials and tribulations of traveling with a lover. While quite personal poems they were quite self-deprecating at times. She had a loyal following of listeners as the evening grew colder.

Claire-Louise Bennett read from her new collection of works titled Pond, delivering her musings on everyday existence and visiting Emile Zola’s grave while eating an apple. Her digressions in her stories and sharp wit seemed to charm the audience to go along for the ride.

Meanwhile in the courtyard, Ella De Burca’s inflatable Doric column Utilitarian Object #1 begins its rise, the wind swaying the piece as the air filled the column, onlookers taking photographs or queuing for Indian while the artwork ascended. The plaster stucco piece Utilitarian Object #2 was illuminated by the courtyard lights and was more subdued than its neighboring column.

Darkness enveloped the formal gardens and set the tone for multi-instrumentalist Dorit Chrylser. Her instrument of choice, the theremin, has a haunting effect, amplified by Dorit’s voice and gestures as she moved around the instrument. Her wizardly playing of the theremin’s invisible energy fields and her dynamic performance kept the audience in thrall as the blue sky turned black.

As Dorit’s music faded, Lee Welch’s piece could be seen in the distance as a blue figure illuminated in the garden. The audience gathered by the side of the terrace to watch as the statue, infused by light and fog and seeming to almost levitate from its spot, came alive: an active participant in the evening draped in golden fabric.

The audience activated these visceral encounters, which proved to be both provocative and entertaining. As the performances ended we moved towards the Great Hall to get some warmth and to dance the night away.

Mary Cremin

Curator SUMMER RISING 2015




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A Celebration of History at IMMA

The Irish Museum of Modern Art is extremely fortunate to be housed in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, one of the finest 17th-century buildings in Ireland. Most notably, the RHK was open as a retirement home and infirmary for nearly 250 years for generations of military veterans who lived and died here. However the history of the Kilmainham site also includes ancient burial grounds, early Christian monuments, a Viking settlement and a medieval monastery.

North Range view of Courtyard

While our focus may be on modern and contemporary art, we are constantly drawing inspiration from our historic surroundings. This Sunday 14 June, on the concluding day of SUMMER RISING: The IMMA Festival, we are focusing on the exploration and celebration of the heritage of the RHK. Continue reading

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Artist’s Voice:: THEATREclub prepares for SUMMER RISING

In preparation for a performance at the 2015 SUMMER RISING festival, Doireann Coady & Grace Dyas of Dublin theatre collective THEATREclub, have taken up residence at IMMA’s studios. Here, they provide a behind-the-scenes look into the development of their performance piece.

Historic photo from the Royal Hospital Kilmainham.

04 June 2015

Hello IMMA blog readers,

We are Grace Dyas and Doireann Coady. We are part of a collective of eight artists called THEATREclub ( we work primarily in theatre. We have been invited to take part in a residency here at IMMA, in the beautiful studios, for the next two weeks. We will be making a participatory experience for audiences at the final summer rising event. We have been asked by Sarah Glennie (Director, IMMA) to look at the historical resonances of the building at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham as part of a process leading to the centenary next year of the Easter rising.

We are not interested in dressing up actors as soldiers and recreating the past, we are interested as makers in finding new ways to embody the meaning of history, of cultural weight and particularly of the post colonial ‘now’ of irish culture.

THEATREclub have long been interested in exploring the collective past in a theatrical context ( see previous work ; HEROIN, Twenty Ten & public art commission HISTORY)

We have developed a methodology for looking into the past, always with the hope of bringing it into the present. We don’t want to allow the spectator to step away from its reality. We want to place history and its inherited resonances at the centre of the experience, to bring it to the now ness of our present reality today. Central to that methodology, in keeping with that present ness, we commit rigorously to the intention to forget everything we already know. That contradiction is central to our creative process.

We started off here by meeting Paul, who works on site for OPW. We did a tour of the building and these where the things that made Us interested:

– in the gardens here there is the remains of a war horse, decorated by the queen of England;

– the commander General of the British army was based here on and off. Decisions about britains colonial wars were made on this site;

– photographs of soldiers on the grounds, their eyes, their stance. We are interested in what post traumatic memories are playing out in their minds, we are interested in giving a spectator some sense of empathy with that experience;

– the soldiers uniforms;

– the gardens as a site of healing;

– the fountain in the garden as a site of healing;

– the notion of healing in general;

– horses?

That’s all from us for now we will keep you posted on how we are getting on, we’ll be tweeting from @THEATREclub.

THREATREclub will perform Sunday 14 June during the Garden Rising 12pm-5pm. See the full SUMMER RISING programme here.

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You are invited to experience ROADKILL. Thu 12th Feb, 6-8pm.

primal evite

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.

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