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Burial of Patrick Ireland at the Irish Museum of Modern Art
After 36 years of making art as Patrick Ireland, the distinguished Irish-born artist Brian O'Doherty will reclaim his birth name with the symbolic burial of his alter ego in the grounds of the
During the Irish Exhibition of Living Art at the Project Arts Centre in 1972, O'Doherty, in a performance before 30 invited witnesses and assisted by Robert Ballagh and Brian King, undertook to "sign his artworks 'Patrick Ireland' until such time as the British military presence is removed from
At the 1972 performance, the artist, masked and clothed in white, was painted head to toe in the charged colours of green and orange by the two assistants, resulting in a glimpse of the tricolour before it was extinguished in the cross-over confusion of colours. The work documenting this performance can be seen along with the encoffined effigy of Patrick Ireland from Sunday 18 May, in IMMA’s Gordon Lambert Gallery, named after the collector and long-time friend of the artist. The death mask of the effigy, which is dressed in white, was made by O'Doherty's friend, the American artist Charles Simonds.
On Tuesday 20 May, the effigy will be interred in the grounds of the Museum. The secular ceremony will be conducted by the distinguished art historian and museum director, Michael Rush, a former Jesuit priest. At the graveside, five poems that resonate most closely with the meaning of the event will be read in English, French, Spanish, and German by friends of the artist and in Irish by Caoimhín Mac Giolla Léith. The ceremony will conclude with a vocal performance by the Irish artist, Alannah O'Kelly, after which those present will return to the Museum for a joyful wake.
Artists, museum directors, writers, and gallerists from
Born in Ballaghadereen, Co Roscommon Brian O’Doherty left Dublin for New York in 1957, where he became a pioneering figure in Conceptual Art and also a renowned writer, critic, filmmaker and educator. His work is in the collections of the
9 April 2008
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