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Field Works – People, Land & Ringforts with Janine Armin & Michael Holly
For this Field Works podcast we hear from guest contributors, writer and organiser Janine Armin and artist and nonfiction filmmaker Michael Holly. Our guests discuss the cultural and environmental significance of mapping and protecting archaeological monuments in Ireland, that is often in conflict with recent state infrastructural development. Thinking about this – and in reflection on the artworks of Jo Baer currently at IMMA, the fieldwork in focus for their conversation together, is the acclaimed book Men Who Eat Ringforts, by Sinead Mercier, Michael Holly, and featuring Eddie Lenihan, 2020.
Listen to our guests as they make their own connections on how our past and present relationship to land, place and ringforts is grown from habitation, lived life and ritual. We also learn how the practice of contemporary artists such as Baer and Holly, can engage and inform other fields of research, spanning archaeology, aural histories, folklore, cultural heritage, climate policymaking and environmental law. The podcast opens with an introduction on Jo Baer’s work (8mins), followed by a focused discussion between guests (33mins).
This podcast extends on the IMMA TALKS programme and its associated live series of in person discursive events.
Janine Armin is a writer and organiser based in Amsterdam where she is a PhD candidate in Art History at the University of Amsterdam and Fellow within the Visual Methodologies Collective, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. She received a Master of Arts from the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College. Armin has co-run several independent spaces in Amsterdam including SideReal (2017–19), looking at the undermined social movement of alchemical philosophy through music, writing and visual art. Her art writing appears in—books and projects including Yael Davids: A Daily Practice (Van Abbemuseum, 2022), Thinking About It (Archive Books, 2014), Afterall Journal, Bookforum and the International Herald Tribune. She is at work on a climate-fiction family-thriller.
Michael Holly is an artist and non-fiction filmmaker, and a lecturer in documentary filmmaking at the University of Sussex. A regular contributing artist to Askeaton Contemporary Arts and Gaining Ground, a public art programme based in County Clare. More details here
Men Who Eat Ringforts, by Sinead Mercier and Michael Holly, featuring Eddie Lenihan, Publication, 2020.
Ringforts are Ireland’s most common archaeological monument, liberally spread throughout the countryside. Seen as circular enclosures in the rural landscape and many existent for hundreds and thousands of years, they are often overgrown with trees and bushes, forming an unassuming yet encompassing presence, one grown from habitation, lived life and ritual. With increasing regularity, the Irish state has sanctioned the destruction of ringforts as part of motorway schemes and infrastructural development. Environmentalist Sinead Mercier explores the legal and moral complexities surrounding the nature of ringforts, while artist Michael Holly’s fieldwork with folklorist Eddie Lenihan reveals and analyses many sites of resonance in County Clare. In addition, extensive large format aerial imagery and historical maps licensed from Ordnance Survey Ireland detail changes over recent decades to these landscapes.
Co-published with Askeaton Contemporary Arts and Gaining Ground, a public art programme based in County Clare. More details here
This exhibition by the American artist Jo Baer, brings together a series of recent paintings inspired by the artist’s stay in the archaeologically rich countryside of County Louth between 1975 and 1982. Archival material relating to her exhibitions in Dublin during the 1970s, as well as her engagement with Irish artists and related writings are included. This exhibition is a co-curation between IMMA and Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda in collaboration with Jo Baer and guest curator and Baer scholar Janine Armin.
The exhibition was first shown at Highlanes Gallery from 29 April – 17 June 2023. Coming Home Late: Jo Baer In the Land of the Giants has been made possible with the generous support of Mondriaan Fund. The IMMA exhibition is organised by Christina Kennedy, Senior Curator, Collections. More details here
Jo Baer, Jo. Up Close in the Land of Giants, New York: Pace, 2020.
Jo Baer: Broadsides & Belles Lettres: Selected Writings and Interviews 1965–2010. Amsterdam: Roma Publications, 2010.
Jo Baer: Four Drawings. Self-published, 1983
Jo Baer: Paintings 1962–1974, New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1977.
David Graeber and David Wengrow, The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2021.
Anthony Murphy and Richard Moore. Island of the Setting Sun: In Search of Ireland’s Ancient Astronomers, Dublin: Liffey Press, 2009.
Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions, 2015.