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Maurice O'Connell, b.1966

Never Mind ‘Kangaroo’ just answer the question1995

Maurice O’Connell continually questioned the role of the artist in contemporary society. His work was varied in scope from performance and installation works to acting as an advisor to architectural planners and co-ordinating education programmes both with art and non-art organisations.

‘Never mind ‘Kangaroo’ just Answer the Question’ consists of a series of personality test questionnaires pinned to the wall, with a stuffed wallaby, sitting on the ground nearby. The wallaby is distracting the viewer from the questionnaire, to confuse and detract from the task at hand. This task is further hindered by the fact that various questions are crossed out, rendering the form unreadable.

According to Legend the origin of the word ‘Kangaroo’ came about when the first white settlers in Australia, on seeing this animal for the first time, asked the natives for the name. The natives replied ‘Kangaroo’ which meant “I do not understand”. This work raises questions about how we understand one another. The manner and mode in which communication takes place is challenged.

MediumWallaby and standard analysis questionnaires
Dimensions Dimensions variable
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Purchase, 1995
Item NumberIMMA.472
Copyright For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].
Image Caption
Maurice O'Connell, Never Mind ‘Kangaroo’ just answer the question, 1995, Wallaby and standard analysis questionnaires, Dimensions variable, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Purchase, 1995

For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].

About the Artist

Maurice O'Connell b.1966

Irish artist and performer Maurice O'Connell (born 1966) continually questions the role of the artist in contemporary society. From the 1990s, O’Connell undertook a series of projects with national cultural organisations to explore the role of the audience in cultural production. He has also worked with theatre, installation and site specific performance. O’Connell has completed residencies in Ireland, Britain, France, the Netherlands and the US. In 2013 he was appointed creative associate with Northumberland based performing arts company NovemberClub.
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