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

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The Beholder’s Share examines unrealised and unexisting projects from the IMMA Collection. The focus of the exhibition is the role that the viewer can play in imaginatively completing an unrealised work.

The phrase “the beholder’s share”, which was introduced by the Austrian art historian Alois Riegl and popularised by Ernst Gombrich, denotes that part of an artwork’s meaning which must be contributed by the viewer. The documentation of unrealised and in some cases impossible works in this exhibition is intended to provoke an exploration of this latent potential which exists even when the work itself does not.

In the years since the founding of IMMA, the building it occupies, the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, and its grounds have been the site of sculptural proposals by many artists including Joseph Kosuth, Stephan Balkenhol and John Newling. Sol LeWitt and David Tremlett each proposed wall drawings for the chapel. Also in the IMMA Collection are a ‘relic’ of an audio/radio work by William Furlong, and a proposal by Christo for an immense sculpture in the Texas desert made of oil drums, both speaking to ongoing global concerns about communication and energy. Archival documentation of Joseph Beuys’ proposed Free International University for Dublin, intended for the Royal Hospital site, brings to light a forgotten episode of Irish artistic and political history.

Featured Artists

Artists featured include Stephan Balkenhol, Joseph Beuys, Christo, William Furlong, Joseph Kosuth, Sol LeWitt, John Newling, Brian O’Doherty, Maria Simonds-Gooding and David Tremlett.

Unrealisable projects by:
Jennifer Brennan, Katie Burgess, Róisín Cash, Hugh McGettigan, David Houlden, Niall Keville, Marcus Meldon, Cliodhna Timoney, Colm Weakliam.

Talks and Events

In Discussion: Anne Tallentire
Friday 27 March, 1.00-2.00pm, Project Spaces, IMMA
Artist Anne Tallentire explores unrealised projects in a discussion with Dr. Maeve Connolly (Lecturer, IADT).

Gallery Discussion: Art in Conversation with William Furlong
Wednesday 22 April, 6.30-7.30pm, Project Spaces, IMMA
William Furlong (UK) sound artist and founder of Audio Arts, the largest  audio-cassette magazine of recorded interviews devoted to art and artists, reflects on his project Radio Garden (1991) with discussion moderator Declan McGonagle (Director, NCAD).

All talks in this series are in collaboration with ARC – IADT. Talks are free but booking is essential.


Important Notice


We would like to advise our visitors that our Main Reception area is closed for renovation from 22 April until mid-June.  A temporary reception is open on the ground floor next to the original main entrance. While we prepare to open our next exhibition Hilary Heron: A Retrospective on 24 May, there are two exhibitions to see Derry Film & Video Workshop and Self: Determination: Artists Commissions. IMMA’s gardens and café are open to the public.