Amanda Coogan \ Floats in the Aether
November 2018 – January 2019
On the centenary of the parliamentary vote for women in Ireland, and the election of Constance Markievicz as the first woman to the Parliament of the United Kingdom, Amanda Coogan was invited to create a new artwork at the National Gallery of Ireland.
Coogan is one of Ireland’s most acclaimed contemporary artists, working in performance, live art, sculpture and installation. Responding to issues relating to gender equality and human rights, Coogan has continually challenged social and political structures through the medium of her own body and collaborative acts.
Floats in the Aether is an ambitious, large-scale performance comprising a series of events involving over 100 women and girls of different backgrounds and social contexts. In each event, Coogan will lead a silent, slow-moving, choreographed procession through the historic rooms of the National Gallery. Each participant will wear a simple cream jacket with gold, purple, orange and green painted details to reflect the colours of the Irish suffrage movement. Coogan believes ‘this performance puts groups of women together in the spirit of community, togetherness, witness and expectation to remember and celebrate the work of the Irish suffragettes and Markievicz’s historic breach of the glass ceiling.’
This project is presented in collaboration with the exhibition Markievicz: Portraits and Propaganda, on display in Room 31 of the National Gallery of Ireland.
Performances are scheduled to take place around three key dates: 6 November (exhibition opening); 14 December (centenary of the 1918 election); and 21 January 2019 (centenary of the formation of the First Dáil).