Nature of The Beast, The Joinery, Stoney Batter, Dec 2009
I recently succesfully curated a group show @The Joinery Gallery and Studios Stoney Batter.(17th Dec to 21st 2009) 11 paintings from Wexford based painter Liam O'Rourke acted as a colourful entrance in the main gallery space. The back room housed my own sculpture /performance.A
durational 1 hour performance, a clip seen here was accompanied by another hour long performance by NCAD graduate Roisin Beirne (pictured top) in the back area. A small square table was set for tea leaf readings, a performance by Roisin which saw the audience being invited to participate in a conversational piece , the audience were
asked questions and the answers were written by Roisin on her upper body, these words were then reused by her to activate further conversations. The show was warmly recieved with people trying out the sculpture piece, pulling the ropes and letting them go with a huge crash to the floor which I was told felt liberating ; and conversing with Roisin in her performance.
The Nature of The Beast Aoife Casey
Artist Statement from Exhibit
Aoife Casey’s main area of interest as an artist is the body in relation to gender and the body in relation to the spaces it inhabits, actively emboding gender, sexuality and the body politic through her performances, Aoifeuses costumes which are functioning aparatus’ collaborating with the body to visually display notions of internal conflict and self realisation and perhaps self-acceptance.
In this exhibit, passages from the book, Sex and the Social Order (1964) by George H. Seward are investigated, social and biological behaviour are explored through mechanical and spatial representations of the body in durational performance.The book claims to be “ a psychologists assessment of modern knowledge about sex, with a view to reformulating sex roles in a way which will improve relations between men and women”.
Aoife reconceptualises notions of selfthrough the objectification of her body in space or environments.This explorations are documented and presented in such a way the viewer can fully immerse themselves in a potential reavaluation of themselves. The work can also be seen as a visual conflict between notions of woman as female and woman as artist, between death and life, reality and fantasy, voyurism and exhibitionism.
The structure of the body sculpture worn during performance is derived from the back crests of mammals, the rising and dropping of the piece illustrates and challenges the relationship between dominance and receptivity, courtship and territorial behaviour.
The crest is slowly highered off the back at intervals by pulling down on 3 ropes, each representative of part of the female sex rhythm. (1. Physiological Process,2. Psychomotor Performance and 3. Emotional Reactivity).
Rope 1 represents Physiological Processes- a suggested 4 stage hormonal sequence in menstruation cycles of females and in particular a suggested rise in muscle strength (pre-menstrual) and peak in motor activity followed by a sharp fall (post menstrual).
Rope 2 represents Psychomotor Performance, the maintaining of motor skills irrelevant of menstrual cycle and a heightening of intellectual awareness ( pre-menstrual).
Rope 3 represents Emotional Reactivity, the reported studies stating the pre-menstrual phase being characterized by activity spurtscoupled with high tension , iritability followed by introversion tendencies.
All these elements are embodied by the strenuous lift and hold of the crest followed by a quick and violent collapse/letting go ( eliminative, destructive) of the crest to the floor.
The framed pieces displayed are to read as objects relating directly to piece performed, the book being the language or script acted in the piece and a boxed trio of objects. The sponge, hook and spring merely humble objects each representing the three stage of the repeated act, sponge(lift), hook(hold) and spring (letting go).
Aoife Casey received a Diploma in Fine Art Painting from DLIADT in 2001, followed by qualifications in Sustainable Development and Fabric and Fibre Arts, followed by a degree in Fine Art Sculpture from NCAD in 2009. She uses her varied backgrounds to inform her practice. Aoife has exhibited in Tasmania as well as throughout Ireland including the Tig Fili in Cork, Kenny’s Gallery Galway, The Mantua Arts Centre Roscommon, The Dublin Art Mill, This is Not A Shop and The Joinery, Dublin.