Somatic Encounter; the Politics of the Body in the work of Irish artists, Aideen Barry and Alice Maher
November 12, 2019
Solas Nua, in collaboration with NYU Washington, DC, co-hosted a screening of the film 6SKIN followed by a panel discussion. The discussion featured the artists, Aideen Barry and Alice Maher, Dr. Tina Kinsella, Head of the Department of Design and Visual Arts at the Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Dublin, Ireland, and was moderated by Dr. Shirley Graham, Director of the Gender Equality Initiative in International Affairs at George Washington University. The panel looked at the recuperation of the female voice in art and literature, with special emphasis on the social, political and cultural histories of a resurgent Ireland in a globally regressive context.
This event was programmed in conjunction with the exhibition Aideen Barry / Alice Maher: Fair is Foul & Foul is Fair at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, Washington, DC November 9th (opening reception) – December 15th, 2019.
Please note that this event may have been filmed and/or photographed.
Aideen Barry, Visual Artist
Aideen Barry is an Irish visual artist, known for her performance, film, sculpture, drawing, and installation work. Her work manifests in the field of contemporary visual arts, but it is punctuated by references to historical and often forgotten or erased figures from literature. Barry often references texts which explore the personal in a way that reflects her own lived experience.
Her work has been shown at The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Louis T. Bloudin Gallery London, Moderne Mussett Sweden, The Loop Biennale Spain, The Wexner Centre Ohio, The Royal Hibernian Academy, the Museum des Beux Arts in Lyon, and The Banff Centre Canada. Her works can be viewed in the collections of Trinity College Dublin, The Arts Council of Ireland, The Banff Centre Canada , and CAC Malaga Spain.
Dr. Shirley Graham, Director, Gender Equality Initiative in International Affairs, George Washington University
Dr. Shirley Graham is an Associate Professor of Practice in the Elliott School of International Affairs whereshe teaches graduate courses on Global Gender Policy and Gender, War and Peace; and undergraduatecourses on Women and Global Politics. She is the Director of the Gender Equality InitiativeinInternational Affairs whichconvenes the Elliott School’s curriculum, scholarly research and engagementin the policy and practice of promoting and achieving gender equality globally. Its aim is to equip futureinternational affairs professionals with the knowledge and skills to apply a gender lens and to advancegender equality through broad areasof their future professional careers.Shirley’s research interests include thematic areas under the women, peace and security agenda,including: gender and international peacekeeping, women and peacebuildingprocesses, women’sempowerment and leadership post-conflict.
Dr. Tina Kinsella, Department Head, Design and Visual Arts, Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design, and Technology (IADT)
Dr. Tina Kinsella is Head of Department of Design and Visual Arts at the Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design, and Technology (IADT), Research Fellow at the Centre for Gender and Women’s Studies, Trinity College Dublin and Fellow at the Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media (GradCAM). Her writing and research are interdisciplinary, drawing on philosophy and psychoanalysis to consider the relationship between theory, contemporary artistic practice, expanded performance, visual culture, and the politics of representation.
Alice Maher, Visual Artist
Alice Maher’s work touches on a wide range of subjects often reprising, challenging and expanding mythic and vernacular narratives. Her artistic practice spans painting, sculpture, photography, drawing, animation and video. In particular, she is
recognised as undermining traditional expectations of female identity. Animated films expand on a lifelong devotion to the practice of drawing.
She represented Ireland at the 22nd Sao Paolo biennial. In 2012 the Irish Museum of Modern Art presented a retrospective
of the artists 30 year practice. Her work can be seen in
many international collections including The Neuberger Museum, The Hammond Museum, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, MOMA, the British Museum and the Georges Pompidou Centre Paris. In 2013 Maher was granted an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Art
by the National University of Ireland.
Watch the Trailer
6SKIN is a sound and image fantasia constructed as a series of veils, skins and fields of imagery. Polymorphic twin performers joyfully express the senses through dance in live action and animation sequences which overlap and embrace each other within a transformative soundscape.
Directors Alice Maher and Aideen Barry, both visual artists, worked with twin dancers Junk Ensemble, to re-stage and capture on film instances of polymorphic transformation referencing scientific and cultural sources from classical Ovid to cinematic cyborgs.