Subjective observation of pace and patterns of use at the Irish Museum of Modern Art / The Royal Hospital Kilmainham has led to prototypes or micro solutions for generous uses of the museum building and grounds. An elasticated barrier creates and leaves space – maintaining a safe distance from which to peruse an artwork, or creating an accommodating support for a viewer to rock gently against. Outside the main Museum reception a leaning table highlights the potential for the formal neo-classical geometry of the building to have accommodating edges.
Drawing on Hertzberger’s ideas of ‘making space and leaving space’ Polyvalency is work in progress resulting from a research residency exploring issues of access to and mediation of contemporary art carried out in tandem with direct investigation into the built environs of IMMA / RHK and its grounds. Between March and June 2011 the research residency undertaken by Culturstruction at IMMA included exploring rights of way, generous spaces, exclusion zones, collective endeavour, raucous celebration and ways in which barriers simultaneously protect and exclude.
Positioned at the intersection of art and architecture, Culturstruction address the embedded social, spatial and economic infrastructure of the public realm. Driven by an ambition to provide a platform for the critique of the culture of ‘Architecture’, architectural education and the industry that creates the built environment, Culturstruction believe that the way that decisions are made is intrinsic to the outcome. Underpinning their creative process is an urgency and desire to prise open accepted boundaries of practice for an expanded dialogue to begin.
In 2011 artists Jo Anne Butler and Tara Kennedy of Culturstruction were commissioned by IMMA’s Education and Community Department to undertake a research residency into artist-led strategies for engaging audiences with contemporary art.