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Exhibitions > Past Exhibitions

Andrea Geyer, When We

Courtyard Galleries, IMMA
1 June – 29 October 2018

Andrea Geyer, Constellations (Carrie Stettheimer after Genthe), 2018. Image courtesy the Artist and Hales Gallery. Copyright the artist.

IMMA is delighted to present the first solo exhibition in Ireland by German-American artist Andrea Geyer. When We features several recent works by Geyer as well as the new immersive work Collective Weave (Ireland), 2018, commissioned by IMMA for this exhibition.
Geyer’s work provokes a radical re-thinking of time. She studies our present by charting histories through a de-familiarizing, transgressive, feminist lens. The resulting works invite a viewer to re-think, re-enact and re-imagine their relationship to past time and how it informs the way they experience the present. As the artist recognises, “Art is not dead… [it] is constantly, through our living, in the making” (Insistence, 2013). In this way, Geyer creates a nuanced space of potential, a vital tool for empowerment and action amidst today’s cultural, social and political systems. The title When We suggests this potentiality; that we can do something, that something may have happened, or indeed can still happen. When We is therefore both a suggestion and an affirmation.

The exhibition at IMMA focuses on Andrea Geyer’s current body of work – an ambitious investigation into the formation of modern art, its institutions and their histories. Featuring performance, text, photography, installation, sculpture and video, the exhibition unfolds as a series of salons, each with its own mood, or as the artist describes, each creating its own particular “universe”. These are spaces made for lingering, to give time for collective thought where critical reflection can otherwise be diluted by the drone of contemporary culture. Combining fictional and documentary strategies, the works within these salons, such as Constellations (2018), Manifest (2017), and Revolt, They Said (2012 – ongoing), honour and celebrate ideas that have been and continue to be marginalized or obscured.

The newly commissioned work Collective Weave (Ireland), 2018, is an expansive floor-to-ceiling installation of white linen featuring iridescent silver patterns of drawings. The drawings are derived from Irish queer magazines, posters and flyers dating from 1970 to the early 1990s. Raising questions around identity, community, representation, and visibility within museums, with this body of work Geyer seeks to champion art as a fundamental necessity and propose alternative possibilities within our contemporary lives.

The live work No Wind Shuts Eyes Open (2017, 2018) is a song composed by Andrea Geyer as an impromptu performance in museum galleries. The song can be learned by anyone and sung alone or in groups. Over the course of Geyer’s exhibition at IMMA, the work will be performed by IMMA staff in the exhibition galleries of IMMA Collection: Coast-Lines on sporadic occasions. The lyrics and melody are available online here.

About the Artist

Andrea Geyer (b. Freiburg, Germany, 1971) is an artist living and working in NYC. Her work has been exhibited widely at institutions including San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in California; The Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Artists Space and White Columns, in New York City; Contemporary Art Museum Houston, Houston, Texas; A Space Gallery, Toronto, Canada; KINDL – Centre for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany, the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Red Cat and LACE, in Los Angeles; Tate Modern and Serpentine Gallery, London; Kunstmuseum St.Gallen, Switzerland; Göteborgs Konsthall, Gothenburg, Sweden; Generali Foundation and Secession, Vienna; Museum der Moderne, Salzburg; Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Zealand; the Turin Biennale; the São Paulo Biennial; and dOCUMENTA (12), Kassel, Germany. International public collections with Geyer’s work include the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in California, Neue Galerie, MHK, Kassel, the Museum der Moderne, Salzburg and the Federal Collection of Germany.

Andrea Geyer worked with the Irish Queer Archive at The National Library of Ireland and the Cork LGBT Digital Archive and was supported by Orla Egan, Dr. Katherine O’Donnell, Tonie Walsh, Jennie Taylor and Emma Haugh for her research towards the new commission Collective Weave (Ireland), 2018.

Associated Events

Artist Talk & Preview | Andrea Geyer, When We
31 May 2018 / 18.00 - 18.45
Andrea Geyer presents a lecture on her multi-disciplinary practice that explores politics of specific events, sites or biographies through a feminist lens. This talk is followed by a drinks reception and the exhibition preview of When We, by the artist.
Curators Lunchtime Talk Series
Wed 4 July, 1.15pm, Meeting Point, Main Reception

IMMA curator Rachael Gilbourne presents an insightful gallery walk through of the exhibition.
Drop In / No booking required.

Expanded project: Witness by Jessica Lauren Elizabeth Taylor
1 – 18 September 2018, Courtyard Galleries, Lecture Room & Residency Spaces

As part of a programme of live events, screenings, talks and lectures that will accompany the exhibition, IMMA has invited the Berlin-based American artist, film-maker and archivist Jessica Lauren Elizabeth Taylor to present Witness, a three-week project running 1 – 18 September 2018. Witness focuses on creating a space for discussions on race and race relations, and features a screening of Taylor’s film Muttererde (2017), and a series of salons and workshops. The project takes place across exhibition and residency spaces at IMMA.
Screening / Discussion 
Friday 14 September, 6pm 
Lecture Room, IMMA / Booking Advised
The multi-voice video project Muttererde (2017) is screened at IMMA. A key part of Taylor’s current research project, this film calls for femme forms of ancestral history in the face of the often-interrupted knowledge of the African diaspora in Europe and elsewhere. The film asks questions such as; what are rituals, teachings and abilities passed on from our matriarchs? How do these inherited skills serve us or inhibit us today? Muttererde features individual portraits of five black femmes, set around conversations on the knowledge and non-knowledge of their mothers, grandmothers, great grandmothers and as far back as the knowledge carries them. Muttererde is an artwork but also forms a powerful archive in and of itself. 

To follow, the film lecturer, classifier and author Dr Zélie Asava moderates a discussion with the artist that explores questions of identity and representation in film, cinema and archive. This draws on concepts of intersectional feminism and critical race theory that underpin Taylor’s research and most recent projects. 

Dr Zélie Asava is a classifier at the Irish Film Classification Office and lectures at University College Dublin. She is the author of Mixed Race Cinemas: Multiracial Dynamics in America and France (Bloomsbury, 2017) and The Black Irish Onscreen: Representing Black and Mixed-Race Irish Identities on Film and TV (Peter Lang 2013). In 2011, she was awarded Young Irish Studies Scholar of the year, and in 2014 she gave a keynote on mixed-race representations in Irish cinema at the Critical Mixed Race Studies conference at DePaul University, Chicago. She is the co-author (with Prof. Diane Negra) of ‘Race and Cinema’ in Oxford Bibliographies Online: Cinema and Media Studies (Oxford University Press 2013), and has published many essays on race, gender and sexuality in Irish, French, American and African cinemas in a wide range of books and journals, including Masculinity and Irish Popular Culture: Tiger’s Tales (2014); World Cinema Directory: Africa (2014); Viewpoints: Theoretical Perspectives on Irish Visual Texts (2013); Images of the Modern Vampire: The Hip and the Atavistic (2013); France’s Colonial Legacies: Memory, Identity and Narrative (2013); World Cinema Directory: France (2013).

Booking line opens shortly. 

Archiving as Resistance / Inherited Identities 
Tuesday 18 September, 6.30 – 8.30pm
Courtyard Galleries, East Ground, IMMA
The salon as part of Witness is modelled after the monthly salon sessions that Taylor founded in 2012 Black in Berlin. For the past two years, these monthly gatherings have been a space for discussions on race and race relations. Adopting a ‘kitchen table’ format, in the past the salons’ topics ranged from Cultural Appropriation to Integration to Model Minorities to the New Diaspora. Each salon begins with a conversation between Taylor and an invited guest speaker before the discussion is extended to the wider group present. 

At IMMA, the salon’s conversation is with guest speaker Natasha A. Kelly and focuses on two issues – archiving as resistance and inherited identities. In terms of archiving, the artist states that access to historical archives is a privilege not afforded to marginalized communities. Erasing and destroying documents, folklore and historical records is a tool often used to oppress these communities. In the salon, oral history as a means of protest and DIY ritual as a means of survival will be discussed. With inherited identities, Taylor asks ‘How does our ancestral DNA affect our identity? In what ways does generational trauma shape our day to day? How do we begin the process to unlearn traumatic habits and rituals?’ Issues such as body hacking, femme futurity and identity politics will be discussed.

The salon takes place within the spaces of Andrea Geyer’s exhibition When We in the Courtyard Galleries at IMMA. It is open to the public but has limited capacity. 

Natasha A. Kelly has a PhD in Communication Studies and Sociology with her research focus on colonialism and feminism. Born and bred in the United Kingdom and raised in Germany, Kelly was the elected representative of the European Union in the Council for Integration and Migration of the Berlin Senate (2012 – 2016). Kelly considers herself to be an “academic activist” (two important features that can be seen individually, but never separately from each other). Rooted in the Pan-African culture of her Jamaican heritage her political and academic works relate to the past, present, and future of the African Diaspora in Germany. As an editor, author and lecturer at diverse private and state universities in Germany and Austria she uses different art forms to materialize “untouchable” phenomena like racism and sexism as demonstrated in her exhibition EDEWA (http://www.edewa.info). This enables her to connect theory and practice and highlight the importance and necessity of the transfer-lines between politics, academia and society. Her dissertation titled: “Afrokultur. ‘der raum zwischen gestern und morgen’” (Unrast Verlag 2016) deals with the life and works of W. E. B. Du Bois, Audre Lorde and May Ayim, three Black knowledge workers who framed Afro-German identity. Kelly's debut film "Milli's Awakening" was commissioned by the 10th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art and is the winner of the Black Laurel Film Award 2018. The publication of the same name is available at www.NatashaAKelly.com

Exhibition Resources

Read 'Collecting the Future - Andrea Geyer & The Irish Queer Archive' from Totally Dublin

Media Release

Download the Exhibition Guide (.pdf)

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