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The Steps: A Public Art Performance with the Step Aerobic Class at the UL Sports Arena, University of Limerick
Sean Taylor, THE STEPS, 2009, collaborative sound/performance artwork, Step Aerobic Class, UL Sports Arena, University of Limerick . Photo by Richard Corrigan.
DUBLIN.- A public art performance with the Step Aerobic Class at the UL Sports Arena, University of Limerick , by Irish artist Sean Taylor, will take place on Friday 8 May 2009, in association with the Arts Office of the University of Limerick and the Irish Museum of Modern Art’s National Programme. Two performances of THE STEPS will take place at 6.45pm and 7.15pm (each performance is 12 minutes in duration); the accompanying catalogue and DVD will be launched at 6.00pm. This step aerobics class is a long established health & fitness facility for students of the University and the general public in Limerick . This particular class has been running for over 10 years and has a large regular public attendance.

Sean Taylor, an artist on the Artists’ Panel at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, undertook a series of creative workshops from October 2008, based on introducing members of the UL Aerobics Class to contemporary film works from the IMMA Collection during their one hour workout. The videos were screened during the class to instigate and stimulate discussion about contemporary art practices with the group. The result of this relationship is the THE STEPS a collaborative sound/performance artwork. The artwork is based on the vocal/whistling instructions of the aerobic instructor, coupled with aerobic and fitness based patterns /movements. The finished artwork is located within the existing workout routine, and will become a permanent feature of the group’s workout.

Film works by ten artists from the IMMA Collection were screened for the purpose of the project - Cecily Brennan, Lu Chunsheng, Dorothy Cross, Brian Duggan, Ann Hamilton, Caroline McCarthy, Isabel Nolan and Paddy Jolley, Rebecca Trost and Inger Lise Hansen.

The performance was documented by filmmaker Robert Corrigan, sound engineer Dave Carugo and Sean Taylor, the documentation accompanies the publication. The publication includes an interview with Sean Taylor by visual arts writer Karen Normoyle-Haugh; an introduction by Patricia Moriarty, Arts Officer, University of Limerick ; and an introduction by IMMA curators Lisa Moran, Johanne Mullan and Georgie Thompson.

The UL Arts Office is committed to the development of an awareness and appreciation of the arts amongst the University community. It actively supports projects that involve staff and students. This office is supported by the Student Affairs Division.

IMMA’s National Programme is designed to create access opportunities to the visual arts in a variety of situations and locations in Ireland . Using the Collection of the Irish Museum of Modern Art and exhibitions generated by the Museum, the National Programme facilitates the creation of exhibitions and other projects for display in a range of locations around the country. The National Programme establishes the Museum as inclusive, accessible and national, de-centralising the Collection, and making it available to communities in their own localities, on their own terms, in venues with which the audience is comfortable and familiar.

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