Performance Art in Ireland: A History


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This book, the first devoted to the history and contemporary forms of Irish performance art in the north and south of Ireland, brings together contributions by prominent Irish artists and major academics. It features rigorous critical and theoretical analysis as well as historical commentaries that provide an absorbing sense of the rich histories of performance art in Ireland. Presenting diverse visual documentation of performance art practices, this collection shows how performance art in Ireland engaged with—and in turn influenced and led—contemporary performance and Live Art internationally.

Contributors: André Stitt, Karine Talec, Amanda Coogan, Anthony Sheehan, Danny McCarthy, Megs Morley, EL Putnam, Kate Antosik-Parsons, Helena Walsh, Michelle Browne, Fergus Byrne, Cliodhna Shaffrey, Áine Phillips

Áine Phillips is a performance artist and head of sculpture at Burren College of Art at the National University of Ireland, Galway.

The collection makes a convincing case for the distinctiveness of Irish performance art, arising from the manner in which performance allowed artists in Ireland to address the specificity of their political, cultural and historical situation. Given the prominence of Ireland-based performance artists and their prolific output, a publication such as this is long overdue.

– Heike Roms, Professor in Performance Studies, Aberystwyth University

The scope of the book is impressive. The authors come with a wealth of personal experience as artists and curators, and their understanding and sensitivity to their topic and to the nuances of practice in this form is very exciting. Editor Áine Phillips is mindful of the need to discuss the porousness of Ireland’s boundaries, and the publication covers the whole island of Ireland, the work of Irish artists in other places, and the work of visiting live artists and their influence.

– Catherine Marshall, Curator, Art Historian and Co-editor of Art and Architecture of Ireland, Twentieth Century

“Phillips rightly foregrounds the importance of her work as a reference book for performance arts training and ‘a stimulus for future projects and the evolution of Live Art in Ireland and elsewhere’. Yet, with its timely exploration of the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of arts practice, informed by intersecting political interests and influences, this volume also makes a major contribution to Irish studies and cultural studies more broadly.”

– Siobhán O’Gorman, New Theatre Quarterly, Volume 32 / Issue 01 / February 2016

Live Art Development Agency and Intellect Books, 2015. 17 x 23 cm, 336 pages, paperback, with 32 page colour section.

Trade orders: Intellect Books. Find the details on Unbound Trade Orders and Distribution Information page.

ISBN 9781783204281

Additional information

Weight 1550.0 kg