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These Immovable Walls

These Immovable Walls:
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These Immovable Walls
Pauline Cummins 'The Spy at the Gate' image taken by Fiona Morgan, 2014.

International exhibition of live performance 11 & 12 July, 2014, Dublin Castle.
Curated by Michelle Browne

Dublin Castle has been the seat of power in the city for much of its 800-year history. For two days this Summer, Dublin Castle will see performances by 7 national and international artists in an exhibition focusing on the theme of power and its relationship to performance. A seminar will also take place on the 11th of July that will look at the crossover between research into the performance of power in art and society.

Artists, Carey Young (U.K.), Katerina Šedá (CZ), Philip Napier (N.I), Pauline Cummins (IRL), Dominic Thorpe (IRL), Sandra Johnston (N.I.) and Maurice O’Connell (IRL) have been commissioned to develop new site specific works for the exhibition. In partnering with Office of Public Works, this series of new performances presented in a variety of architecturally diverse spaces will interrogate Dublin Castle as a public space. The exhibition will consist of performances that range from short pieces to longer durational works. Artists will engage directly with the site, focusing on the day-to-day activities but also looking back into history to excavate the castle’s rich past.

These Immovable Walls: Performing Power at Dublin Castle is curated by Michelle Browne, Assistant Curator Ciara McKeon. Produced with the support of The Arts Council of Ireland and The OPW.

Arts Council OPW

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Carey Young’s (b. 1970, lives and works in London) work centres on the growing influence of corporations and the legal sphere on individual and collective subjectivity, which she explores using a variety of media including photography, text, video and performance.work has been presented in numerous solo exhibitions at venues including Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich (2013), Le Quartier, Quimper (2013), Paula Cooper Gallery, New York (2010, 2007), Eastside Projects, Birmingham and tour, (2010 - 2011), Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, and The Power Plant, Toronto (both 2009), John Hansard Gallery and tour (2001 – 2002). She participated in the Taipei Biennial (2010), Moscow Biennial (2007 and 2013), Sharjah Biennial (2005), Performa 05 Biennial of Visual Art Performance, and the Venice Biennale (2003). Young has also participated in many group exhibitions, including Tate Liverpool (2013), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2012), the New Museum, New York (2011), MoMA/PS1, New York (2010) and Tate Britain (2010). She is represented by Paula Cooper Gallery, New York and her works are in the collections of the Centre Pompidou, Kadist Foundation, Arts Council England and the Tate Gallery, amongst others. A monograph on her work, Subject to Contract, was published by JRP|Ringier in 2013.

Kate?ina Šedá (b. 1977, lives and works in Brno–Líše? and Prague) began her studies at the Arts and Crafts Middle School in Brno, continuing them from 1999–2005 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (under professor Vladimír Kokolia). She has exhibited her work at MOMA, Venice Biennial (2013), Kunstmuseum Luzern, Switzerland ( 2012), Renaissance Society, Chicago (2008), Taxispalais Gallery Innsbruck, Austria (2007-2008), Documenta 12, Kassel (2007), Index Gallery, Stockholm (2007) and Modern Art Oxford (2006). In her projects – which, for the most part, she carries out in the area where she lives (in the countryside or the city outskirts) – she tries to bring the local residents closer together. Through her peculiar (provocative) activities and her non-traditional use of everyday materials, she endeavours to awaken permanent changes in their behaviour.

Philip Napier was born in Belfast in 1965 and studied at Manchester Polytechnic, Falmouth School of Art, Cornwall and the University of Ulster where he was awarded an MFA in Fine Art in 1989. A former Rome Scholar, Philip Napier has exhibited work internationally at venues including: the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; the Santa Monica Museum, California; PS1 New York, Robben Island, Cape Town. He represented Ireland at the XXII Sao Paulo Biennale (1994) and the UK at the inaugural Gwangju Biennale in South Korea (1995). He has worked collaboratively in a number of projects developing dimensions of enquiry in a variety of challenging public spaces through permanently sited and time based works. Through representing dimensions of language at play in civil culture, Napier is interested in re-routing meaning and power. Professor Philip Napier is Head of Fine Art and Acting Head of Sculpture at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin. He is a founder member of Flax Art Studios, Belfast and his work is included in the collections of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and The Arts Council of Great Britain.

Pauline Cummins’ performance and video work examines identity, gender and socio-cultural relations connected to different communities in society. Her recent series of works Sound the Alarm (2008), (2009), and (2010) explore themes of power, powerlessness and the rights of the child to protection in our society. Cummins’ video installations have been exhibited nationally and internationally over the last 30 years, in Liverpool Tate, IMMA, and in M:ST International Festival, Calgary, Canada. The exhibition, Between One and Another, (2012) with Canadian artist Sandra Vida, at the Irish Cultural Centre, Paris, showed a selection of her video works and a new site-specific performance Extracts based on the Ryan report on child abuse. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Irish Museum of Modern Art. She is a lecturer in the Dept of Sculpture at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin.

Dominic Thorpe is an Irish visual artist who works primarily through performance and sometimes through drawing, sculptural, video, contextual and relational based projects. He has shown and performed work extensively internationally (Norway, China, Italy, Sweden, France, Hong Kong, Finland, Thailand and the UK) and in Ireland including at Temple Bar gallery, the RHA, Tulca and the Project arts Centre. He has completed a several public art commissions and has work in a number of public collections in Ireland. Thorpe has received awards and bursaries from the Arts Council of Ireland, the Kildare County Council, Culture Ireland and CREATE (The national development agency for collaborative arts in Ireland). He is currently a visual art consultant and facilitator on the Kildare Council Creative Well Arts in Health programme and sits on the editorial panel of the Arts Council of Ireland's Arts in Health website www.artsandhealth.ie. Dominic Thorpe is a resident at the Fire Station Artists’ Studios Dublin and is also currently the first artist in residence at Humanities in University College Dublin.

Sandra Johnston is a Northern Ireland artist, working in the areas of site-responsive performance actions, video installations and drawing. Between 2002-2005 she was an Arts Humanities & Research Council, (A.H.R.C.) Research Fellow at the University Of Ulster in Belfast, investigating issues of ‘trauma of place’ and acts of commemoration. From 2005-2012 a Lecturer in Time-Based Art at the University of Ulster. In 2007 she was selected to be the ‘Ré Soupault’ Guest Professor at the Bauhaus University in Weimar, teaching on the M.F.A Public Art and New Artistic Strategies Programme. Johnston has recently published her PhD project entitled, Beyond Reasonable Doubt: An Investigation of Doubt, Risk and Testimony Through Performance Art Processes in Relation to Systems of Legal Justice, 2013 with LIT (Berlin, Münster, Vienna, Zurich, London) in the series European Culture and Policy. Currently, teaching as a Senior Lecturer at Northumbria University in England.

Maurice O’Connell (based in the UK) works to provoke continuing questions around the nature of the Artist today. Who they work with or for? A series of projects in the 1990’s involving residencies set up a long discourse around the institutional nature of art practice, with projects across Ireland, UK, Europe and the USA. These brought to the surface complex relationships with those his work tried to engage. The Art was only ever a surface. A series of projects over last ten years in which language has become key, in negotiating place and space for the artist. Maurice now collects and learns modes / habits of communication, then adopts the stance of the places in which he occupies. The work is very visible but barely noticeable with a continuous public presence in most aspects of structured community life inside and outside of cultural frameworks. This work has been allied to activism, Social Planning, Structural Development, Architecture, Theatre and more recently the Emergency Services.

Michelle Browne is an artist and curator based in Dublin. She studied Sculpture at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin. Much of her work is performance based and she has performed and exhibited both nationally and internationally. Browne has curated a number of performance exhibitions including OUT OF SITE, a festival of live art in public space in Dublin running from 2006-2008. In 2009 she curated Vital Signs, an exhibition of arts and health in context for the Arts Council and Create and she was the 2010 curator of TULCA a season of visual art in Galway. She curated a series of performances entitled Between You and Me and the Four Walls for The International Network of Performing Arts spring plenary meeting at Project Arts Centre, Dublin in 2013. Browne has contributed to the upcoming book Irish Performance Art: A History edited by Áine Phillip, published by Intellect Books. She has also written for Circa Art Magazine, Visual Artists News Sheet and Create News. She was Artist Advisor on the design team for the Grafton Street Quarter Improvement Scheme from 2011-2013.