Hauntings and Herstories: Feminist Live Art in 1980s and 1990s Ireland

Ongoing Project

A research project led by Clare Daly in a collaboration between LADA and the Department of Drama at the University of Roehampton, funded by the TECHNE doctoral awards scheme.


Hauntings and Herstories: Feminist Live Art in 1980s and 1990s Ireland is a research project conducted by Clare Daly through a collaboration between LADA and the Department of Drama at the University of Roehampton. Funded by the TECHNE doctoral awards scheme, the project is supervised by Lois Keidan of LADA, Prof. Adrian Heathfield and Dr. Eleanor Roberts.


Live Art practices have held an uneasy relationship to traditional modes of archiving and historical narration due to many factors: a disinterest in material remainders; a use of unrepeatable events; antagonisms with scripts, scores, recordings, and with the art market and capitalism; an emphasis on process over product; a use of intimate relations; and in many cases an active resistance to institutionalisation. While certain lineages of Live Art have enacted critiques of their narration, visibility and institutional containment, numerous histories of Live Art remain relatively unmapped: particularly those of already marginalised subjects, such as women, LGBTQ and GNC, working-class, disabled, Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic, and ‘outsider’ artists. These dynamics are amplified by the predominance of Western and Northern Hemispheric subjects in Live Art histories and the peripheralisation of actions and voices of the Global South, from the rich performance cultures of Latin America, Eastern Europe and South East Asia and their diasporas. The collaboration between LADA and Roehampton takes place in this context and seeks to uncover, document, write, re-make or create new histories, as well as mount a self-reflexive interrogation of processes of historicisation.

In particular, Clare’s research focuses on the under-represented practices of Irish feminist artists, from their emergence in the 1980s up to the end of the century—a period particularly relevant to today’s political context. Clare’s work pays attention to these practices as unique repositories of Irish herstories and as sites that rupture perceptions of history, oppression and its current effects. She approaches these artists’ performances as affective experiences that give access to transgenerational memory and to an archive of Irish feminist experience. Her thesis aims to challenge conventional notions of live art archival representation by developing modes of engagement that emphasise embodied experience.


Clare will be writing regular blogs for LADA’s website throughout her research.

Banner image credit:

Clare Daly, © LADA



A series of debates between eminent artists and scientists at the Old Operating Theatre.

Read more


A season of work at Arnolfini celebrating Gina Pane and exploring the artist’s body as a politicised site.

Read more

Reading Performance Art From Then Till Now

A debate as part of Whitechapel Gallery’s A Short History of Performance season.

Read more

Fundraising Resource Handbook

Artsadmin, Home Live Art and LADA worked to develop a free online Fundraising Resource Handbook

Read more

Study Room Gathering on the Live Female Body in Current Feminist Performance Practice, UK & US

Poppy Jackson will discuss recent research into the feminist performance scene

Read more

Glimpses of Before – 1970s Performance Art in the UK

Online Study Room Guide on 1970’s Performance Art in the UK

Read more

Reimagining Care: 200 Questions About Care by Rubiane Maia

Rubiane Maia’s 200 Questions about Care were developed out of her research as part of the six-month residency Reimagining Care.

Read more