Active Archive – Slow Institution

Active Archive – Slow Institution is a major research project and exhibition that delves into Project’s rich 50+ year history, uncovering the history (or rather histories) of one of Ireland’s oldest public art institutions.


Research / Vis Art / 07 Mar 2020 - 26 Sep 2020 Free - Booking Essential - 45min Slots Gallery

Launch: 12 March 5.30 -7pm

Extended until 26 September

Project Arts Centre hosts the second chapter of the Active Archive – Slow Institution project, an extensive research initiative that delves into Project’s 50+year history, looking at the imagined futures and proposals for transformation recorded in Project Arts Centre’s archives. QUEER-IN-PROGRESS. TIMELINE maps LGBTQ histories and even more specifically looks into lesbian, female-identified, transgender and feminist activism and practices. With a special focus on the 1980s, 1990s and the HIV campaigns, QUEER-IN-PROGRESS. TIMELINE begins with an exploration into Project’s LGBTQ theatre history. This ongoing body of research has been collated by artist Hannah Tiernan (MFA, NCAD) and will be presented alongside her current investigation into the GCN (Gay Community News), IQA (The Irish Queer Archive / National Library of Ireland)  and the Out Magazine archives. The timeline is identified as a tool for pooling, revisiting and bringing into conversation various points of views, individuals, groups and communities to unpack less visible and often suppressed, overlooked or neglected aspects of complex historical events, challenging simplified media representation. The display will change and expand through collaborative editing during the two weeks. The wider public is invited to contribute to the evolving timeline and its periodical updates. They are invited to challenge the power structures of canonized perception and readings and to present concerns about visibility, measurement, normalisation, temporality, presence and absence, representation of otherness, desire and difference. During the two weeks, we will host ‘Public Viewing’ events that invite the public to participate in a conversation with guests who will moderate the close-reading of a selection of materials (documents, ephemera, music or moving images) relating to LGBTQ history, culture, politics, community relations, and public health. The gallery will also give space to a series of workshops and gatherings. QUEER-IN-PROGRESS. TIMELINE puts forward the importance of temporal, open and inclusive archives that accommodate changing needs and foster a dialogue about queer archiving within institutional practices. It will highlight events that point at the social, political, economic and medical complexities but also the absences and silences resulting from censorship, limitations to document and preserve as well as lack of space for sexual and gender difference. Exploring narrative(s) of emerging and changing experience that might manifest through personalised collections of records, community-based archives the project looks into questions of historicizing and memorializing and how queering archival practices can help us transform conventional approaches to archiving with a strong critical engagement with many of the issues present including misogyny, homo/transphobia, HIV, racism and various forms of discrimination and marginalisation. QUEER-IN-PROGRESS. TIMELINE is developed in the framework of the L’Internationale Research Network and in collaboration with GCN and several communities, activists and cultural practitioners. We specially thanked Mary Shannon founder of the Irish NAMES Project and custodian of the Irish Names Quilt for kindly providing us with a panel. Her passing away has left all of us deeply saddened. You can find information on our QUEER-IN-PROGRESS. TIMELINE open call HERE.   LIST OF VIDEOS  Mary Shannon Irish Names Quilt, 2019 13’30” Starting in 1990, the Irish Names Quilt was created in honour and remembrance of those who died in Ireland from AIDS and HIV related illnesses, each panel on the Irish Names Quilt represents a life lost too soon. One of the thirteen panels of the quilt is hung at the Gallery was made in the board room of the Dublin AIDS Alliance by families and communities who had been affected in one way or another by HIV and AIDS. Each section within the panels tells a personal story. Their size is 6 foot by 3 foot (183 x 92cm), size of an average grave. The video is courtesy of The National Museum of Ireland. Produced and edited by Gavin Woodruff. Our Love is History, 2013 19’20” Director: Caroline Campbell / Still Films; Producer: Darren Bolger / Still Films In Our Love is History, the radical politics of the dancefloor of Dublin queer club Flikkers are revisited and remixed by the children of their revolution. Two generations of young club-goers share the same fashion looks – doc marten boots, leather jackets, ripped jeans and Ray Petrie 80’s styles. The club-goers of today from Mother nightclub read the testaments of the past from their phones. Separated across thirty years of time; the two generations’ experiences of past and present are merged as we visit locations around Dublin where radical memories are held. The dance floor and cruising zone are transformed into political spaces of agency – and that which lay outside recorded history now becomes legacy. Texts included are based on interviews and writing from Flikkers dj’s and activists Tonie Walsh and Izzy Kamikaze. The Future of Feminism, 2008 30’11” Directed and edited by Cara Holmes. Short Documentary introducing the concepts of Feminism in Ireland. We’re Here, We’re Queer, We’re Irish, 1994 30’ Produced and directed by Linda Cullen. This is a half-hour documentary filmed in 1991/92 about the exclusion of the Irish Lesbian and Gay organisation (ILGO) in New York’s St Patrick’s Day Parade and their battle with the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) to be included. I made this film through the production company Green Apple, with the support of David Collins and Bill Hughes, and ultimately it was transmitted by RTE as part of their Tuesday File documentary series in March 1993. It was the highest rating episode of that series. An interesting aside is that in the year 2000 I (and some other like-minded queers) organised a trip to New York with 50 Irish lesbians and gay men who travelled to protest in solidarity with our friends in New York. A number of us were arrested and “put through the system”. In other words, we were not simply released after the parade but were imprisoned and had to go through the courts before being released (all within a scary 24 hour period). The city was at this time under the Mayorship of Rudy Giuliani. (Linda Cullen) Lust for Power – The 2nd International Dyke March,1998 11’43” Produced and directed by Linda Cullen. In 1998 I was part of a small group who brought The Dyke March to Dublin. It came about through our connection with New York and ILGO and was a way of celebrating our lesbian lives. It only lasted two years here but it was fun! I asked friends within my own industry to help capture ’98 on tape and this short film is the result or our collaboration. It was shown in a number of film festivals including Paris and Berlin in 1998 and 1999. (Linda Cullen) In the black box: Outitude: The Irish Lesbian Community, 2018 1h 28’ Director: Sonya Mulligan. Producer: Ger Moane. A grassroots documentary born from the fundamental question of ‘where are we on the screen?’, Outitude charts the history of the Irish Lesbian Community from all the way back in the 70s to the 2015 marriage referendum. Produced by an all-female, all-queer team, the documentary features interviews with some of Ireland’s most notable lesbians (Nell McCafferty and Ailbhe Smyth to name a few) and paints an emotional picture of a community connected by their fight for equality. AUDIO Edited audio recordings of the Dublin Lesbian Line (DLL) 40th-anniversary event, a night of talks, music and poetry on 11 October 2019 in The Tara Building, Dublin. Introduction to speakers and performers by Niamh Grennan / Dublin Lesbian Line. Recorded and edited by Cáitríona Murphy / Dublin Lesbian Line. Courtesy Dublin Lesbian Line. Speakers: Niamh Grennan, DLL coordinator introduces the event and the speakers. Joni Crone and Marina Forrestal, DLL co-founders (speak about the history of DLL, their work in the Hirschfeld centre, the women’s rights movement including other topics) Joanne O’Connell, DLL wellness course participant (discussing the impact the course had on her) Ailbhe Smyth, Irish academic, feminist and LGBT activist (partially recorded talk that pays tribute to DLL and provides the wider historical context of sexuality in Ireland). Patricia Kennedy, former volunteer (discusses what it was like to be a volunteer and the challenges they faced). Ger Moane, former volunteer and producer of the documentary Outitude: The Irish Lesbian Community, 2018 (partial recording). Performers: Molly Sterling, singer, songwriter (partial recording of her performance). Avoca Reaction, a queer performer and founder of Avoca Reaction’s Big Durty Queer Cabaret. Vicky Curtis, spoken word artist Ailbhe Reddy, singer and songwriter

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