Words by

A statement from our Artistic Director:

I am calling this action today defiant compliance.

Restrictive legislation has intervened in a creative institution and in order to protect the future of that institution and all the artists who work here now and may work here in the future we have decided to comply with the order of the Charities Regulator. This decision has not been taken lightly.

Throughout its 52-year history, Project Arts Centre has always placed itself at the centre of social and political issues and has done this through the art it has presented, produced and displayed.

Through its absence this political artwork lives on in the thousands of people who have taken its heart into theirs. You can paint over a mural but you can’t paint over an issue.

Cian O’Brien
Artistic Director, Project Arts Centre

You can’t paint over an issue, but you can paint over an artwork! Maser mural update.

April 20th 2018, at 03.34pm

We are painting over the Maser Mural (again).

The Charities Regulator has informed Project Arts Centre that the display of Maser’s ‘Repeal the 8th’ artwork is ‘political activity’ and that we are therefore in breach of the Charities Act 2009 and not in line with our ‘charitable purpose’. Should the artwork not be removed, we risk losing our charitable status. Project Arts Centre respects the authority of the Charities Regulator and will comply with their order to remove Maser’s artwork.

 

Fiona Slevin, Chair of Project Arts Centre said:

“The Board and executive of Project are conscious of their obligations under the Charities Act 2009 and the charitable purpose of the organisation. We strive to sustain Project’s stated purpose and objectives, namely to remain Ireland’s leading centre for the presentation and development of contemporary art, and to work with artists across all art forms to make and present extraordinary works that inspire and provoke. The artwork by Maser fits precisely with this remit. In presenting Maser’s work, we are facilitating the presentation of art by a highly regarded, award-winning street artist who has displayed artworks across Ireland, Europe and the United States.”

 

Maser’s work is not unusual for Project; rather it exemplifies Project’s artistic programming through its 52 year history. The centre showcases high quality contemporary art that, by its nature, is indelibly political because it relates to the workings of the society from which it emerges. We believe all art is political, even work that reflects the status quo and is therefore misconstrued as being ‘neutral’. We draw a distinct line between supporting artists who make work that is highly political and engaging in political activism. In the recent past, Project has shown works by visual artists such as Núria Güell, Seamus Nolan, SUMS ONE, Jesse Jones and theatre companies, Brokentalkers and THEATREclub. Each of these has addressed a highly political issue such as tax avoidance and the banking crisis, the Corrib Gas pipeline, the marriage equality referendum, the industrial school system and the decriminalisation of sex work. We remain committed to the support and presentation of such work in the future.

Project has always placed the vision and freedom of expression of the artist at the centre of our work. We firmly believe there is immeasurable value in creating space for artists and artworks that not only reflect our society, but also directly address and challenge its issues and complexities head on.

Maser’s mural is an artwork that, in both its presence and absence, has proven itself to be a powerful emblem. It demonstrates the power of art to provoke debate, educate and communicate.

Maser’s artwork was painted over by our Artistic Director, Cian O’Brien at 11am on Monday 23 April.