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Exhibitions > Past Exhibitions

Morph and Transform

29 October 2016 – 29 January 2017, Project Spaces



Aideen Barry, Possession, 2011, Single Channel digital video with sound, 6'30" loop. Courtesy of the artist.

Animation is usually experienced as TV cartoons and popular cinema. In the Project Spaces, IMMA presents a series of artworks by contemporary artists working with animated drawings and materials, as well as exploring ideas and images of change and transformation. The animated works are accompanied by a season of workshops and events for children and young people.

Aideen Barry, 10 December 2016 - 29 January 2017

Aideen Barry presents old and new work, and some experimental musings straight from the studio in Morph and Transform. Her film work Possession, 2011, is presented alongside Traume Terrain, 2016, a vitrine showcase containing a frieze of drawings on a concertina book, with multiple video projections of moving images. In this work Barry explores the idea of the drawing notebook being a site of germination for her moving image works. This is an experimental work that the artist has been working on while undertaking her residency at IMMA. Also presented is a short animation piece Stop Motion Animation made by Barry and The Revolutionary Girls, the outcome of a workshop by The School for Revolutionary Girls as part of A Fair Land in August 2016.

In the film work Possession, 2011, the protagoinist is positioned as a product of the environment in which she is immersed the character has become a personification of cognitive dissonance, it pertains to the idea of a certain possession or enchantment, as a housewife who succumbs to her circumstances, trapped, crushed by a contemporary House of Usher in the middle of abandoned and incomplete housing developments from which she is incapable of fleeing.

The character responds to an extremely alienating and unhealthy domestic situation. A set of electrical appliances, symbolic instruments of her obligations by which she is possessed, round off the grotesque setting surrounding the chores that she is endlessly preoccupied with. The setting chosen by the artist to challenge reality arises from the empathy stemming from her feminine condition. The woman who Aideen Barry incarnates in this performance lives in a continuous present of routine and anxiety in which she lets herself go, in a free fall to nowhere, once she has reached the denial of her own existence. Lacking will, knowledge and freedom; the conscience abolished, un-viable without imagination, sensation or memory, she becomes an object or, even more, the extension of others to whom she gives the life and autonomy she has renounced. With these elements she sketches a phenomenological reasoning of enigmatic dark humour.

Horsepower, 2013, by John O'Connell, 29 October - 8 December 2016

A short film Horsepower by John O’Connell was the first work to be shown as part Morph and Transform. O’Connell is best known for his film animations, many of which depart from his drawings, paintings, and miniature set designs. He also composes and plays piano for the animations’ melodic and soothing soundtracks. Straddling the line between real and fictional, process-based and result-oriented, these animated works operate and acquire meaning within the private and make-believe universe that he has created. It is a surreal dimension, inspired by the world of dreams and the supernatural, where bizarre and fragmentary narratives develop according to an unfamiliar logic.


John O'Connell, Horsepower, still, 2013, Courtesy of the artist

About the artists

John O’Connell holds an MA from the Royal College of Art, London and a BA from the National College of Art, Dublin. He has been awarded several artists’ residencies and has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally, these include a fellowship in Location1 New York, SIM in Iceland, Stiftung Starke in Berlin and The Watermill with Robert Wilson in New York.

Aideen Barry ( b. 1979 Cork)  is visual artist with a national and international profile, whose means of expression are interchangeable, incorporating performance, sculpture, film and lens based media. Barry recently showed a survey solo show at Royal Hibernian Academy entitled Brittlefield and will show at Block 336 London in the new year. She have been Artist in Residence on the IMMA residency programme since the beginning of summer '16. Barry will undertake a fellowship at the Vermont Studio Centre (US) programme in 2017 and will show solo at MARFA Contemporary Texas in Jaunary 2018. She recently won the prestigious 2017 Lexicon Commission Award and Modern Ireland in 100 artworks from the Royal Irish Academy, she was awarded an Arts Council of Ireland Bursary Award in 2016.

Barry's works are in permanent collections at the Arts Council of Ireland, The Headlands Centre for the Arts ( San Francisco), Art Omi Collection, ( New York), NUIG Collection, Galway, Mayo & Dublin Council collections, the OPW and at the Centre de Art Contemporary, Malaga ESP. Barry teaches at Limerick School of Art and Design on the post grad and under grad programmes.

Exhibition Resources

John O'Connell's film Horsepower was presented as part of The Poetry Project in 2013.


Irish Museum of Modern Art, Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, D08 FW31, Ireland
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