Aftereffects and Untold Histories, Politics and Spaces of Performance since the 1990s is a research project and online events programme running from 15th April to 15th May 2021 commissioned by the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) in Dublin.
The Aftereffects and Untold Histories programme of discussions, conversations and performances will examine the intersections of politics and performance in Europe in the 1990s as well as their legacies today.
The Good Friday Agreement, the end of communist rule in Eastern Europe, civil war in Yugoslavia, and the rise of populist nationalism as well as campaigns for gender rights and AIDs activism shaped a turbulent period, and often formed the context for critical and creative performance practices. New affinities between artists formed across the entire continent, and new artist-led spaces and institutions were launched too.
Yet this is not a fixed or even well-understood history, and so the Aftereffects and Untold Histories programme will gather new knowledge and reflections on performance. It will bring together scholars from across Europe as well as performance artists from different generations.
Programme events are live, free and open for all to attend. Please note that some events have limited places. All will take place online via Zoom or YouTube and can be booked via the website.
All times are local Dublin times (UTC+01:00)
Week 1: Setting the scene
DISCUSSION/Q&A: Setting the Scene
Jennifer Fitzgibbon, Annie Fletcher, Sarah Glennie, Johanne Mullan
Thursday 15th April, 4pm - 5.30pm
An opening conversation between Jennifer Fitzgibbon, Annie Fletcher, Sarah Glennie, and Johanne Mullan, followed by a Q&A. The event will reflect on the research into 1990s Irish performance art commissioned by the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) and approaches to archiving performance art practices by the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) and the National Irish Visual Arts Library (NIVAL).
For God’s sake bring me a large Scotch. What a bloody awful country
Friday 16th April, 7pm - 8pm
Artist Maria Fusco will make a performative reading from History of the Present, an experimental working-class opera about the peacelines in Belfast, a new work that she is currently developing with the Royal Opera House, London. As a first-hand ‘contemporary witness’, Maria will discuss the driving question in this work about how socio-political concerns, in addition to affording subject, can structure how a performance work is produced. Working iteratively across discipline, challenging normative forms of trained vocal annunciation, uncovering of marginalised voices within history, probing the imperfect fit between voice and world, she asks who is allowed to speak and in what way? Maria’s performance will be followed by a 20-minute live Q&A.
Week 2: Artists' Self-Archiving
PERFORMANCE/DISCUSSION: Gallery Guide
Kevin Atherton, Judit Bodor
Thursday 22nd April, 7pm - 8pm
A Guide to Gallery Guide is a performance-lecture and conversation with artist Kevin Atherton around Gallery Guide, a ‘virtual reality’ performance that aimed at challenging attitudes around contemporary art and emerging technology at the end of the last millennium.
Atherton will revisit Gallery Guide in the current virtual reality context of Zoom engaging in a type of ‘double-performance’ to explore the contemporary relevance of the artwork. Following the performance-lecture, Atherton will be joined by Judit Bodor to discuss the complex material identity and history of the artwork and the challenges regarding its future preservation and curation.
DISCUSSION: The Making of an Archive
Cecily Brennan, Sarah Glennie, Donna Romano
Friday 23rd April, 4pm - 5pm
The Artists’ Campaign to Repeal the Eighth Amendment was established in 2015 by Cecily Brennan, Alice Maher, Eithne Jordan, and Paula Meehan. The campaign began online inviting fellow artists, actors, musicians and writers to sign a statement calling for a repeal of the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland (Article 40.3.3). This amendment gave effect to the Irish State’s ban on abortions. The campaign went on to organise events, exhibitions and talks, raising awareness of Ireland’s restrictive reproductive laws nationally and internationally. The group is an inspirational example of the power of using culture to canvas for societal change. The National Irish Visual Arts Library (NIVAL) has recently acquired the archive of the Artists’ Campaign to Repeal the Eighth Amendment. To mark the occasion, Cecily Brennan will be in conversation with Donna Romano, Head Librarian of the Edward Murphy Library and NIVAL, chaired by NCAD Director Sarah Glennie, discussing key artefacts from the archive.
Week 3: Art in public
DISCUSSION: Art in public
Brian Connolly, Brian Hand, Mari Laanemets, Kateřina Štroblová
Thursday 29th April, 4pm
A panel discussion exploring performative interventions in public space during the 1990s. Chaired by artist Brian Hand, the event will feature short papers from artist Brian Connolly on his collaborative performance work in Dublin, art historian and curator Mari Laanemets on performances in the streets of Tallinn and academic, art critic and curator Kateřina Štroblová on the Rafani Group in the Czech Republic. This will be followed by a 20-minute conversation reflecting on the correlations and divergences among artistic practices and public gestures in the varying geographical contexts of Estonia, the Czech Republic and Ireland.
SIDEBAR CONVERSATION: Mapping Performance Practice in Ireland
Kate Antosik-Parsons, Jennifer Fitzgibbon
Friday 30th April, 2pm - 3pm
Art historian Kate Antosik-Parsons will discuss her research and highlights from her interviews with seminal Irish performance artists including Brian Connolly, Pauline Cummins, Sandra Johnston and Danny McCarthy. Limited places.
DISCUSSION: Political performance in Yugoslavia during the 1990s
David Crowley, Vida Knežević, Nita Luci, Bojana Piškur
Friday 30th April, 6pm - 7:30pm
A conversation with art historian, curator, cultural worker, and member of Kontekst collective Vida Knežević (Belgrade, Serbia), feminist scholar Nita Luci (Prishtina, Kosova), and curator Bojana Piškur (Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana). The contributors will discuss political performance of the 1990s in former Yugoslavia, addressing the challenges of researching performance from a highly contested period of history. They will explore the characteristics of performance practice among the different territories and the issues that arise when exhibiting such work today.
Week 4: Activism and the Archive
DISCUSSION: Activism and the archive
Sara Greavu, Joanna Krakowska, Hannah Tiernan
Thursday 6th May, 7pm - 8pm
A live panel discussion event exploring performance art, gender, sexuality and activism chaired by curator Sara Greavu following the presentation of short papers from researcher and artist Hannah Tiernan about the LGBT Theatre of Project Arts Centre through the 90s, and theatre historian Joanna Krakowska on the role of performance and theatre in the rise of binary society in Poland after 1990.
SIDEBAR CONVERSATION: Alternative space and club cultures
Leah Hilliard, Sarah Pierce, Niall Sweeney
Friday 7th May, 4pm - 5pm
Sarah Pierce will chair an intimate conversation with artist Leah Hilliard and artist and designer Niall Sweeney reflecting on artist-led performative practice, alternative spaces and club culture. Limited places.
Week 5: Intergenerational legacies
DISCUSSION: Intergenerational legacies
Isadora Epstein, Brian Hand, Léann Herlihy, Sara Muthi
Thursday 13th May, 4pm - 5:30pm
Curator and writer Sara Muthi will lead a roundtable discussion featuring artists Isadora Epstein, Brian Hand, and Léann Herlihy, reflecting on the legacies of Irish performance art in the 1990s for subsequent generations of practitioners.
Friday 14th May, 8pm - 8:30pm
Maïa Nunes will present Spectral, a new performance at NCAD Gallery, specially commissioned for Aftereffects. Informed by and paying homage to Black feminist theory and Queer of Colour critique, Nunes' work explores the concept of cultural amnesia, in particular the violent erasure of queer stories by colonialism. The artist has been working with their mentor Simone Niles during lockdown to access the healing properties of sound, whereby resonance and frequency are used to shift energies and reconnect with the self. For this performance, Nunes will draw on the meditative potential of sound, using an improvised singing practice and vocal projection to embody themes of haunting and disrupt oppressive silence.
Spectral will be streamed live from Trinidad and Tobago on YouTube and projected onto the window of NCAD Gallery in Dublin, where it will be visible to passersby. With the projection of their disembodied image, Nunes proposes an analogue for non-binary, genderqueer and trans identities, making a fleeting, spectral appearance on Thomas Street for the duration of the performance.
DISCUSSION: Institutional legacies from the 1990s
Annie Fletcher, L’Internationale partner institution representatives
Saturday 15th May, 2pm - 3:30pm
A live Zoom panel discussion, chaired by Annie Fletcher (IMMA) and featuring representatives from L’Internationale partner institutions will look at the legacy of institutions established in the 1990s in the context of IMMA's 30th birthday celebrations.
Recordings of many of the talks and performances will also be available online after the programme finishes.
The Aftereffects and Untold Histories programme is a partnership between NCAD, the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) and the National Irish Visual Arts Library (NIVAL). Aftereffects and Untold Histories is part of NCAD’s contribution to the EU funded L’Internationale project Our Many Europes. L’Internationale is a network of major museums and education partners. It represents a new internationalist model and defends a concept of common heritage that is based on interconnected archives and collections. Ultimately, L’Internationale challenges the way globalising art institutions replicate the structures of multinational powers and the streamlined, centralised distribution of knowledge.
The Aftereffects and Untold Histories, Politics and Spaces of Performance since the 1990s online programme is curated by Alissa Kleist and Ciara Moloney.
ANN: Aftereffects and Untold Histories (online, 15 Apr-15 May 21). In: ArtHist.net, Apr 10, 2021 (accessed May 16, 2021), <https://arthist.net/archive/33798>.