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IMMA25 are delighted to announce a special screening of Jesse Jones’ The Selfish Act of Community. This film is an adaptation of an iconic group therapy session originally staged in 1968 by American psychologist Carl Rogers. The encounter aimed to bring together a cross section of American citizens toexamine the role of ‘self’ in social dynamics. Focusing particularly on how the ideas of the 1960s counterculture permeated the desires of the ‘silent majority’, Jones re-stages this historical event as an adapted verbatim script, revealing the shifts in our understanding of gender, social roles and notions of the Self in relation to others and how these perspectives might have shifted in the last half century.

Image: Jesse Jones, The Selfish Act of Community, 2012, production still, Andrew Bonacina, Courtesy the artist. © Jesse Jones
Image: Jesse Jones, The Selfish Act of Community, 2012, production still, Andrew Bonacina, Courtesy the artist. © Jesse Jones

The film is structured around a rotating single shot, creating a cinematic platform that aims to mimic the liveness of Bertolt Brecht’s theatre-in-the-round. The intense performances by the cast articulate the complexities between human emotion and the broader social sphere of experience. The role of dramaturge and therapist are scrambled in this attempt to see the evolution of political experience as an embodied relation to reality and to community. The screening will be followed by a discussion with the artist on the role of the group encounter therapy session in both The Selfish Act of Community and The Other North and how it may enact a performative constellation of wider political impulses within a society.

This event is only open to 18-25 year olds. Please bring identification with you on the day. This event is free, and you can book your place by emailing [email protected]

About the Artist

Jesse Jones b.1978

Jesse Jones studied sculpture at NCAD before completing an MA in visual arts practice at IADT in 2005. She teaches in Fine Art programmes at CIT Crawford College of Art & Design in Cork and has worked and exhibited extensively both at home and abroad. In 2017 Jones represented Ireland at the 57th Venice Biennale. Jones' work takes many forms; from gallery-based films, installations and sculpture, to large scale public events and performance. She has collaborated with diverse groups, from opera singers and marching bands to activists. Her practice largely aims to excavate the hidden meaning within our popular collective consciousness, and she explores how historical instances of communal culture may hold resonance in our current social and political experiences. Her practice also reflects and re-presents historical moments of collective resistance and dissent. Politics have always been important to her artistic thinking.
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