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For IMMA Outdoors, a newly commissioned project, titled Y O U N G F O S S I L, with the collaborative arts practice Forerunner, will bring bespoke seating and convivial gathering structures to IMMA’s grounds. Forerunner’s projects often play to the inherent use value, aesthetics and evolution of the materials and environments they work with. Embodied in Y O U N G F O S S I L’s materiality and making-process is a prompt for wider discussions relating to the politics of housing, ecology, consumption and the environment. From the millions of years it takes for fossilisation to occur to the 25-year lifespan of modern dwellings, Forerunner’s work criticises notions of material permanence.

Y O U N G F O S S I L will also function as a modest domestic space, constructed when all the seating and gathering structures are assembled together, and as such it holds a promise of future potentiality or entwicklungsfähighkeit. Y O U N G F O S S I L is built with a visionary adaptability to our current condition.

The collective Forerunner was founded by Tanad Aaron, Andreas Kindler von Knobloch and Tom Watt in 2016. With Y O U N G F O S S I L, the collective expands beyond the founder members to feature artist additions to the seating structures by David Lunney, Liliane Puthod, and Daniel Tuomey. Upcoming live performances, or gestures, across IMMA’s grounds will feature artists Stéphane Béna Hanly, Fiona Gannon, and Matthew Lenkiewicz.

This project is made possible with the support of the Public Service Innovation Fund. Presented with the kind support of OPW.

About Forerunner

After graduating together in 2011/12 and supporting one another in different projects over several years, Forerunner began to work together officially in 2016. Their collaborations include architecturally interrogating Fine Art and specific objects built for, or against a function. In their separate practices, they are interested in the history of art practices and the fabrication and creation process used or deemed usable as an artist. Combined, their practice presents an ambitious interrogation of objects, environments and uses. Working with everyday or commonplace materials lends the works a familiarity while allowing them the freedom to be re-examined in a new and unfamiliar context. This methodology often ends in work whose emphasis is on its production values, be they self-made or factory finished, and a focus on the work’s overall coherent composition.

Over the past two years Forerunner’s work has begun to encompass an interest in Arte Util and a desire to quietly upgrade or criticise by fixing. The artists commonly refer to their exhibitions as tests; tests for the real world, tests for a future context and opportunities to try a different material or technique.

Recent projects include the Future and stuff, TULCA 2020; Architecture of Change, VOID, Derry, 2018; Museum of Mythological Waterbeasts, Ormston House, Limerick, 2018; Misplaced Concreteness, 2018, Grizedale Arts, 2018; Brute Clues, Project Arts Centre, 2016. Permanent commissions exist in Dublin, Belfast, The Lake District, Paris and Japan.

See artist website  here.

Artist Additions

Daniel Tuomey, How To Win, 2021, Screen-print on plywood.
Daniel Tuomey’s text and image work, How To Win, takes the form of a board game. The work serves as a score for many possible performances about how we can collectively tell stories. Players are invited to decode the rules of the game to either physically or imaginatively traverse the abstract space of the board. These rules play with the disconnect between colonial maps and historical records and more provisional, participatory traditions of oral storytelling.

Tuomey’s How To Win works with the overlap of Y O U N G F O S S I L‘s deconstructed domestic space and IMMA’s reclamation of colonial architecture and landscaping as a national cultural institution. It invites visitors to play, invent, and perform “lost” mythologies. It draws on writer, poet, philosopher, and literary critic Edouard Glissant’s description of jazz improvisation as a collective, live recomposition of a stolen culture. How To Win imposes the notion of rules not as rigid discipline but as constructive constraints for creative play; if there is no way for players to do it ‘right’, there is also no way to do it wrong.

Liliane Puthod, Oh Tempus Fugit, 2021, Acrylic paint on textured window film.
Liliane Puthod’s Oh Tempus Fugit is a series of flags sited across Y O U N G F O S S I L at IMMA. The work marks the locations of the seating structures as ambiguous – as yet undefined or in need of reinterpretation. The title of the work translates literally as ‘Oh Time Flies’, drawing attention to the rapid passage of time; an individual’s perception of a moment, a period, a lifetime, a symbol. From being diverted to being mindful, the lived and shared experience of the site of IMMA, waves, balances and flutters, yet belongs to common grounds and fragmented timescales. The flags stand as visual signs for this site – a place to be and use before another layer of time joins and transforms its history once again.

David Lunney, Bright Brown, 2021, Sawdust, acrylic, spray paint.
David Lunney’s Bright Brown is a series of surfaces treated with sawdust and acrylic gold paint. Researching into construction industry practices for preserving or ‘embalming’ of the exterior of a building, the work uses sawdust instead of pebbles on wood and seeks to reproduce the mystifying modern process of pebble dashing. Drawing on archaeological tones of Y O U N G F O S S I L, Lunney’s work introduces a signifying golden lustre on specific parts of the seating structures. In the future, these golden edges will come together to form a central window as the seating structures are repositioned to form a pavilion. Lunney’s work oscillates between aesthetics of a high-vis caution tape, Viking treasure, and a gilded frame.

Stéphane Béna Hanly, Shape Making by Space Shaping, 2021.
Performance as part of Y O U N G F O S S I L LIVE at IMMA, 1 October 2021. Artist Stéphane Béna Hanly invites you to join him as he sheds some light on the worlds assigned to the mysterious young fossils peppered throughout the Meadows at IMMA. Some of these worlds are visually apparent while others require some encouragement, offered via Hanly’s unique piece of debris, which shares a link with these worlds from one time or another. As the artist states, this performative walk and talk – accompanied by an interjecting intercom – “embraces the ability of the imagination to transform the role of a physical space to the individual’s desired function”.

Life Focus, Vision, 1, Vision, 2, Vision 3, 2021.
A set of drawings online to accompany Y O U N G F O S S I L LIVE, at IMMA, 01 October 2021  Life Focus explores works through nature, self-help and directionlessness.

Fiona Gannon, The Case of the Missing Subject, 2021.
Live reading as part of Y O U N G F O S S I L LIVE at IMMA, 1 October 2021 . Writer and researcher, Fiona Gannon, presents an investigation of the strange circumstances of something that is not quite a body. Among the tectonics of Forerunner’s Y O U N G F O S S I L, red marks have appeared on some of the platforms. Unsure of their origins, Gannon has subcontracted Private Investigator Nim Pseudo to analyse the scene. Over the coming month, Pseudo will continue to investigate, compiling their notes and evidence. Using the approach of the carrier bag theory, á la Ursula Le Guin, Investigator Pseudo will analyse a variety of sources and compile their findings, weaving different possibilities of how this young fossil came to be and what kind of a fossil it is.

To share the knowledge acquired, Pseudo will bring all persons of interest and interested persons together on 1 October to lay out a number of threads pursued.

Matthew Lenkiewicz and Pauline Payen, “Can-You-Hear-Me? “Is-It-Better-Now?” “Depth-In-A-Flatspace”, 2021.
Soundscapes as part of Y O U N G F O S S I L LIVE at IMMA, 1 October 2021 . Matthew Lenkiewicz and Pauline Payen’s series of sound compositions have been created from layered Internet field-recordings, vocal synthesis and semi-musical arrangements. Using both the artists’ connections and means of connection to each other, to Y O U N G F O S S I L and to its Dublin home as raw material, the works attempt to react to a growing codification of intimacy, bureaucracy, life, work and nature into a shared, increasingly complex but familiar, technological (flat)space.

Working at a distance with awkward, alien fragments, found, synthesised and recorded across video calls, internet archives and other non-places, the artists reflect on contemporary day-to-day artificiality in nature, emotional landscapes, intimacy, relationships with work, friendships and humour. Distributed across the site and integrated into the platforms, the visitors are invited to lay down on the wood and listen in to an endlessly looping, long-distance call with reality.


Public Service Innovation Fund