Listen, Hissen, Hessin!
The first live performance of six-piece experimental sound group Hissen at IMMA this June
Listen, Hissen, Hessin! is a one night live performance in response to The Passion According to Carol Rama; Italian artist Carol Rama’s current exhibition at IMMA. A roving soundscape performed by six Dublin based visual artists working under the aegis of Hissen, featuring Karl Burke, Jessica Conway, Teresa Gillespie, Jonathan Mayhew, Suzanne Walsh and Lee Welch. This will be their first public performance as a six-piece experimental sound group and will take place within the galleries at IMMA.
Deliberately contrasting with the aesthetic of Italian artist Carol Rama’s work (1918-2015), Listen, Hissen, Hessin! riffs off Rama’s strategies and approaches to making her work – instinct, experiment, materiality, the queering of perceptions, wit, contradictions, freedom, and sensuality. The evening seeks to capture this attitude, offering it an alternative form via sound and motion.
This performative soundscape is a response to the architecture of the space, the artworks on display, and between the artist/performers themselves. It is improvised, lo fi, and layered using a combination of digital sound, voice, musical instruments, human touch, and found objects – a hanging window blind, an air vent, a stool.
Through live scoring and choreography, Listen, Hissen, Hessin! seeks to agitate the viewers experience of the exhibition, to break a certain social order, and to question any conclusion you might come to in reading Carol Rama’s, or indeed Hissen’s, work. To echo Anne Dressen’s recent description of Carol Rama in Artforum (February 2016), the event plays off a sense of the artist as “trouble-maker”.
The title of the event Listen, Hissen, Hessin! references the urban phrase ‘hessin’, defined as a lack of motivation to do anything other than party, and a desire to do anything illegal.
Hissen is supported by the Studio 6 open programme at Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, Dublin.
Ignored for decades by official art history, Italian artist Carol Rama is now recognised as essential for understanding developments within contemporary art. Her influence can be seen in the work of a later generation of artists such as Cindy Sherman, Kara Walker, Sue Williams, Kiki Smith and Elly Strik. Rama was belatedly recognised in 2003, receiving the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale, one of the most prestigious international art exhibitions. The Passion According to Carol Rama is on show at IMMA until 1 August 2016.
This is the first substantial exhibition of Carol Rama’s work and comes to Dublin following exhibitions in MACBA, Barcelona, Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris, and EMMA, Finland. With a selection of almost two hundred works, the exhibition offers a guide through the artist’s many creative moments. Neither exhaustive nor retrospective, The Passion According to Carol Rama is the most extensive presentation of the work of this artist to date. It acts as an attempt to recognise and restore a life’s work still unknown but nevertheless slated to become classic.
Born in 1918 in Turin, Carol Rama – never academically trained or faithful to individual art movements – developed a body of work over seven decades that is as unique as it is obsessive, Rama experimented with alternative materials, developing techniques for inventing new spaces of desire and her work challenges the dominant narratives around sexuality, madness, animalism, life and death.
IMMA Talks Seminar: Sexuality, Identity & the State
1.30pm – 6pm, Wednesday 22 June 2016
Also on Wednesday 22 June IMMA will present a free seminar Sexuality, Identity & the State which will address issues of gender, sexuality, identity and the state, as it relates to the work of artists Carol Rama and Patrick Hennessy, currently on exhibition at IMMA, amongst others. Comprising of presentations by artists, writers, curators, educators and psychoanalysts, the seminar will draw on queer theory, feminism and psychoanalysis across a range of disciplines, and consider wider research agendas that span the history of art, culture and society. For further details and booking click here
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