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Royal Hospital Kilmainham
Dublin 8, D08 FW31, Ireland
Phone +353 1 6129900

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Take a Breath is a major new exhibition that provides an historical, social, political, and personal examination of breathing – why we breathe, how we breathe and what we breathe – exploring themes of decolonisation, environmental racism, indigenous language, the Impact of war on the environment and breath as meditation.

Taking as its starting point the nature of breath and its vital role in our very existence, the exhibition reflects on the social, political, environmental, and spiritual aspect of breathing, tracking this vital act from the impact of post-industrial air pollution to modern-day wars and the effect on environment, health and how we live; to the suppression of protests of voices from different communities, where breath is a symbol of community and resistance; and the use of breath as personal meditation.

Featuring the work of Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Alex Cecchetti, Ammar Bouras, Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński, Hajra Waheed, JMW Turner, Marina Abramović, Ana Mendieta and Isabel Nolan, among many others (scroll down the page to see full lists of artists). The exhibition also explores breath through movement and sound with performances by Okwui Okpokwasili in collaboration with Peter Born, Alex Cecchetti, Maria Hassabi, Isabel Nolan with Belinda Quirke, and Camille Norment Trio with Crash Ensemble.

The exhibition’s film programme includes Bruce Conner’s CROSSROADS (1976), one of most provocative films of the Atomic era which features 37 minutes of extreme slow-motion replays of the 1946 Operation Crossroads Baker underwater nuclear test at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific, and Clare Langan’s The Heart of a Tree (2020), which highlights the importance of trees to the survival of the planet and explores the disconnection between man and nature.

List of Artists

Featured Artists: Marina Abramović, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Mercedes Azpilicueta, Giacomo Balla, Ammar Bouras, Alex Cecchetti, Bruce Conner, Maud Cotter, Forensic Architecture, John Gerrard, Sheroanawe Hakihiiwe, Maria Hassabi, Susan Hiller, Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński, Waqas Khan, Joseph Kosuth, Clare Langan, Niamh McCann, William McKeown, Ana Mendieta, Khadija Mohammadou Saye, Isabel Nolan, Camille Norment with Crash Ensemble, Okwui Okpokwasili, Yuri Pattison, Belinda Quirke, Mark Ruwedel,  Patrick Scott, Pamela Singh, JMW Turner and Hajra Waheed.


Live Performances

Alex Cecchetti, Torneremo Onde, Torneremo Foreste
Thursday 13 June
Let yourself be lulled by the jellyfish in this live performance of Alex Cecchetti’s Torneremo Onde, Torneremo Foreste (We will return as waves, we will return as forests), in IMMA’s galleries. As the artist Alex Cecchetti notes, “Being composed of 98% water, jellyfish are like the ocean trying to embrace itself.” Set within Cecchetti’s immersive fabric work Medusa Mothers (2022), the performance features singers William Pearson and Bríd Ní Ghruagáin, with make-up by Tee Elliot.

An artist, poet and choreographer, Alex Cecchetti has a unique practice, difficult to classify, and one that has been called ‘art of avoidance’. Tactical and poetic, aesthetic and materialistic, its system produces specific situations or objects that can exist both inside and outside traditional exhibitions. It is in this double movement of representation and concealment that it is possible to inscribe his staging of invisible choreographies, from hidden nudes to sleeping dancers. Cecchetti’s work is focused on the construction of specific narratives that are experienced both mentally and physically by the audience. The artist’s performance work at IMMA, Torneremo Onde, Torneremo Foreste is one such work.

Alex Cecchetti’s performance Torneremo Onde, Torneremo Foreste takes place within the artist’s installation the journey of one breath, a work which gathers several other pieces by Cecchetti, made between from 2020 and 2024.