An exhibition featuring artworks focusing on the human figure by Irish and international artists represented in the Irish Museum of Modern Art
s Collection opens to the public at Tallaght Community Arts on Tuesday, November 17. "Figuring It Out" includes artworks by Amanda Coogan, Antony Gormley, Isabel Nolan, Denis Oppenheim and Beverly Semmes. The exhibition is a continuation of Tallaght Community Arts and the Irish Museum of Modern Arts long-standing partnership as part of IMMAs National Program. The exhibition marks the first occasion that they have worked together in the new Rua Red exhibition space. Since March students from Jobstown Community School have been working with Tallaght Community Arts and IMMAs National Programme exploring the process of curating an exhibition. These students have assisted with the curation and delivery of Figuring It Out. Artworks made in response to the IMMA artworks by the students are also shown.
Born in Washington D.C. and based in New York City , Semmes worked as a performance artist and sculptor using the luxurious world of high fashion as a starting point. Incorporating highly sensuous materials, velvet, tulle, organza and lame - in colors ranging from the most delicate and transparent to the most opaque and intense, she fashions garments which become metaphors for the body and landscape. In 1995, Semmes was invited to design sets for a ballet. Inspired by the dance she began to create dresses which move, further emphasizing the absent presence of the body within. "Big Silver" is one such piece. The work is attached to a motorized pulley so that it rises and subsides at regular intervals, mimicking the ballet dancer at the bar.
Antony Gormley's sculptures take their starting point from the presence of the body or human form. Sick was cast in lead from the artists own body and is an early example of the 'body case' sculptures for which Gormley gained wide recognition. A further example of Gormleys direct use of his body is a series of etchings, "Body and Soul" portfolio, the impressions having been sourced directly from Gormleys body are also included in this exhibition.
The basis of Amanda Coogan's practice is the durational live performance where her powerful live events are fundamental to her videos and photographs. She aims to condense an idea to its very essence and communicate it through her body. The photograph, "Medea", is taken from a three-hour performance which tells the secrets of the deaf community through Irish Sign Language. These are stories of oppression, humiliation, and sexual and physical abuse at the hands of the clergy. Born hearing to deaf parents, Irish Sign Language was Coogans first language and this has profoundly influenced her work.
The central aim of the Irish Museum of Modern Arts National Program is to establish the Museums core values of excellence, inclusiveness and accessibility to contemporary art on a national level. Focusing on the Museums Collection , the program facilitates offsite projects and exhibitions in a range of venues and situations throughout Ireland . IMMA aims to act as a resource at a local level through working in partnership and relying on the knowledge and concerns of the local community. Partner organizations are wide-ranging and include a variety of venues both in traditional art and non-arts spaces, allowing for far-reaching access and interaction. The National Program has been supported by the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism.