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Willie Doherty, b.1959


Willie Doherty’s work addresses problems of representation, territoriality and surveillance and the language of identity in Northern Ireland. His practice is lens-based – the addition of language either in the form of superimposed text, titles to the works or sound accompaniments to his filmworks is crucial to an understanding of his intentions. Sometimes the words appear to contradict each other, or the image they accompany, challenging the viewer to make up his or her own mind about the true meanings of the work. The ambiguities resulting from differing perspectives on the same material are at the foreground of works such as ‘Protecting/Invading’, an early piece in which the same landscape clearly has different resonances depending on which side of the political divide one identifies with.

MediumBlack and white photograph with text
Dimensions Unframed
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Purchase, 2003
EditionEdition 3/3
Item NumberIMMA.1621
Copyright For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].
Image Caption
Willie Doherty, Protecting/Invading, 1987, Black and white photograph with text, Unframed, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Purchase, 2003

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

About the Artist

Willie Doherty b.1959

Willie Doherty was born in Derry, Northern Ireland. Basing much of his work around Derry he uses photography, video and sound installations to explore the fallibility of human memory and recollection. Doherty studied at the University of Ulster, Belfast, and began exhibiting internationally in the early 1980s. Doherty was nominated for the Turner Prize, in 1994 and 2003 and represented Ireland in the Venice Biennale in 1993, 2005 and 2007. His film Secretion was shown at IMMA in 2013.

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