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IMMA/NIVAL SEMINAR: ROSC 50 Artist Research Commissions

Saturday 11 November, 2.00 – 5.00pm, Johnston Suite, IMMA

Showcasing new ROSC50 Artist Research Commissions by Amanda Coogan, Emma Haugh, Christodoulos Makris, Nathan O’Donnell and Suzanne Walsh.

An important part of the IMMA/ NIVAL ROSC 50 collaboration is to generate new research and new perspectives from both artists and audiences today, and to record these for future generations.  Audiences are invited to attend a seminar comprising of artists’ performance, lecture presentations, screening and a panel discussion. This includes research projects in response to the Rosc exhibitions: 'Prologue' by artist Amanda Coogan, 'Poverty of Vision' by Emma Haugh and a collaborative project titled ‘Inflamatory Speech’ by Christodoulos Makris, Nathan O’Donnell and Suzanne Walsh. Each artist has taken as their starting point the material relating to the  Rosc exhibitions in the NIVAL archive, and are responding to themes relating to the ambition, memory and legacy of Rosc and also the critical and public engagement with the exhibitions.

Other contributions include 'Rosc: Overlooked Biennials', a talk  presented by Brenda Moore-McCann, art historian, writer and appointed researcher of the IMMA/NIVAL: ROSC 50 - 1967 / 2017 project, and a response and chairing of a discussion with Valerie Connor, curator and educator, D.I.T.

Complementary refreshments will be served. Places are limited.


IMMA and NIVAL commissioned a number of artists to create new projects in response to ROSC 50, a collaborative research project to mark the 50th anniversary of the first Rosc exhibition in 1967, Through a programme of talks, events, research commissions and exhibitions ROSC 50 revisits the Irish art historical account of these landmark visual art exhibitions in Ireland, exploring their legacy and meaning in the present day. The period of research is from July to December 2017 and draws on the continuing ROSC 50 programme.


Amanda Coogan's research looks at the live performances in Rosc ’80 with a view to appropriating and folding these live, unstable works into a newly imagined performance work. Rosc ’80 was the first Rosc to include performance and live art, and 14 artists, including Ulay and Marina Abramoviæ, Marta Minujin, Tim Hennessy, Laurie Anderson, Nam June Paik and Nigel Rolfe, were invite to create site specific live performance works in Dublin. Coogan has said about the project: ‘I claim this research strategy as one that is open to the possibility of performance itself – that is to say performance works that are in a constant state of becoming.’

Emma Haugh has developed a new performance in response to several months of research in and around the ROSC Archive. Focusing on 1984, the year when ROSC took place in a newly renovated Guinness Storehouse, the performance incorporates a cross reading of ROSC with a feminist critique of minimalism, the work of Ana Mendieta, ‘80s American pop culture and a queering of childhood.

The research process has incorporated performative and theatrical reading techniques developed within Haugh’s Reading Troupe, a project that involves collective and interventionist reading, including improvisation, collage, cut-ups and embodied gestural response. 'What is most intriguing about archives is what isn’t there. Those collected fragments that can be found within the archive tell (if looked at from a certain perspective) of that which is missing. Documents from the Rosc archive tell much about Irish art historical struggles around national identity, status, ambition and representation. I propose to consider the ambition and legacy of Rosc through performative cross-readings with critical texts and other research materials as a means of speaking back to and with the archive in order to appear that which is not immediately present.’

A selection of printed ephemera comprising the performance will be made available and housed within the ROSC archives at the National Irish Visual Arts Library (NIVAL).

Christodoulos Makris, Nathan O’Donnell and Suzanne Walsh will present, 'Inflammatory Speech', a research performative event in response to Rosc. It is devised as a collaboration between three practitioners working at the intersections of contemporary art, poetry, and writing. Inverting Rosc’s subtitle – ‘the poetry of vision’ – they propose an alternative ‘vision of poetry.’ They create a repository of material from the Rosc archive from which they will shape several original poetic texts for performance.In their submission the collaborators stated: 'Responses to Rosc were (and are) marked by hostility, bafflement, defensiveness; languages of resistance but also of territorialism and the fear of the unknown, the troubling, the provocative. It is to this context, rather than the content, of Rosc that we wish to respond, creating work that explores and amplifies the exhibitions’ reception, rather than the exhibitions themselves per se'.


Brenda Moore-McCann is a medical doctor, art historian and writer. She is Assistant Professor at Trinity College Dublin where, since 2008, she teaches an interactive medical humanities course to first year medical students called “Perception in Medicine & Art”. She is the author of numerous articles including to the book Modern Ireland in 100 Artworks in 2016. She is the author of the first book on the artist Brian O’Doherty, Brian O’Doherty/Patrick Ireland: Between Categories published in 2009. She contributed a commissioned essay on the Rosc exhibitions to The Art & Architecture of Ireland, Volume V in 2014, and published about the exhibitions in the context of the Cultural Cold War in Dublin Review of Books in 2017.

Valerie Connor is a curator educator who recently completed a commissioned project working with three photographers to record aspects of a building built and occupied by the Central Bank of Ireland in Dublin city centre for almost forty years. She works at the  Centre for Learning, Teaching and Technology, Dublin Institute of Technology, where she is doing an applied research project informed by the intersection of her experience across education and curating. She is also on advisory panels with the National Irish Visual Arts Library at the National College of Art and Design and PhotoIreland. Larger recent curatorial projects include the An Post GPO Witness History Commissions, co-curated with Ruairí Ó Cuív, Still, We Work, a legacy project funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies and curated for the National Women's Council of Ireland, and the programme Golden Mountain for Tulca Festival of Art. As an external consultant to the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon, she was Visual Arts Adviser in policy and strategy. As an appointee, she  was the Commissioner-Curator for Ireland at the 50th Venice and 26th São Paulo international Biennale. For details visit Valerie Connor’s website here.


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