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Once you have made a booking, you will receive a notification by email with information about your event. If you have general queries about attending Talks at IMMA please see our Frequently Asked Questions page below.

  • Tickets €5

Important information: For the health and safety of our visitors and staff, IMMA will be closed to the public from 5:30pm today Thursday 12 March until 29 March 2020 inclusive. All events have been postponed until further notice. Apologies for the inconvenience. Please follow our social media channels for updates.

Due to unprecedented interest IMMA is delighted to announce that more tickets are now available for the lecture by internationally renowned writer and scholar, Sara Ahmed. To accommodate demand, please note this talk is now re-located to the offsite venue of JM Synge Theatre, Trinity College, Dublin 2.

IMMA presents a keynote lecture by internationally renowned writer and scholar Sara Ahmed, who offers critical reflection on the role queer methodologies play in disrupting the normative use of our public institutions, with a lecture titled Complaint as a Queer Method.. To follow Ahmed’s lecture a closing discussion will be moderated by artist, educator Sarah Pierce.

In continuing her work and participation in wider critiques of utilitarianism as an educational framework to interrogate what is useful knowledge Ahmed’s most recent book What’s the Use: On the Uses of Use (2019) explores what “I call simply ‘queer use,’ how things can be used in ways that were not intended or by those for whom they were not intended”. In the conclusion of the book, she argues that it is not enough to affirm the queerness of use: to queer use often requires a world-dismantling effort. This lecture begins where the book What’s the Use ends, exploring the work of dismantling institutions as the work of complaint. Complaints teach us how institutions are built for some to use, as well as what we need to do to open-up institutions to others.

Building on the powerful blog series ‘feministkilljoys’, Ahmed’s work is inspired by scholars working on questions of race, colonialism, gender, sexuality, and disability who write from or about “bodies out of place”, “misfits”, or “troublemakers”, including Judith Butler, Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Aimi Hamraie, Alison Kafer, Heidi Mirza, Aileen Moreton-Robinson, Nirmal Puwar, Shirley Anne Tate, Gloria Wekker, as well as many others.

Presented in the context of CHROMA – a public programme that brings together artists, creative practitioners, educators, activists and designers to respond to methodologies of queer thinking and ideas of ‘intersectionality’ and ‘Protest’ as it relates to IMMA’s current programme Desire: A Revision from the 20th Century to the Digital Age; Derek Jarman, PROTEST! and IMMA Archive: 1990s, From the Edge to the Centre.

This event is ticketed and must be booked in advance. Tickets are €5.00, all proceeds go towards supporting our Education & Learning Programmes.

About Speakers

Sara Ahmed is an independent feminist scholar and writer. Her work is concerned with how power is experienced and challenged in everyday life and institutional cultures. Her books include What’s the Use? On the Uses of Use (2019), Living a Feminist Life (2017), Willful Subjects (2014), On Being Included (2012), The Promise of Happiness (2010), Queer Phenomenology (2006), The Cultural Politics of Emotion (2014, 2004), Strange Encounters (2000) and Differences that Matter (1998). She blogs at

The book What’s the Use: On the Uses of Use (2019) published by Duke University Press, draws on cultural studies, gender and sexuality, feminism and Women’s Studies and Queer Theory to suggest queer use as a way of reanimating the project of diversity work and the painstaking task of opening up institutions to those who have historically been excluded. See more details here

Sarah Pierce is an artist based in Dublin and teaches in the School of Visual Culture at the National College if Art and Design. Since 2003 she has used the term The Metropolitan Complex to describe her project, characterised by forms of gathering in historical examples and those she initiates. The processes of research and presentation that Pierce undertakes demonstrate a broad understanding of cultural work and a continual renegotiation of the terms for making art, the potential for dissent and self-determination. Pierce works with installation, performance, archives, talks and papers, often opening these up to the personal and the incidental in ways that challenge received histories and forms of making. Her sources include civil rights movements and student culture, the historical legacies of figures such as El Lissitzky, August Rodin, and Eva Hesse, and theories of community and love founded in Maurice Blanchot and Georges Bataille. Pierce’s work has shown widely in the EU, US and Canada, most recently in exhibitions at the Centre of Contemporary Art, Derry (2018, 2017); Rua Red, Tallaght (2017), Hessel Museum & CCS Galleries, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson (2016, 2013, 2012), Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (2015), and the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin (2015). In 2014, she staged a three-part solo exhibition at Walter Philips Gallery Banff, Mercer Union Toronto, and SBC Gallery Montreal. In 2005 Pierce represented Ireland in a group exhibition at the 51st Venice Biennale. She participated in Glasgow International (2018), Eva International (2016, 2012), Lyon Biennial (2011), Sinop Biennial (2010), and the Moscow Biennial (2007). Publications on her work include No Title, published by CCA Derry and Sketches of Universal History Compiled from Several Authors, published by Book Works, London.

Important Notice

To ensure the health and safety of the public, in line with current government restrictions, IMMA’s galleries will close from 24 December until further notice. All tickets purchased for Paula Rego, Obedience and Defiance exhibition will be refunded over the next two weeks. We appreciate your patience during this time.