by Sarah Browne and Jesse Jones
In the Shadow of the State is a new project by artists Sarah Browne and Jesse Jones, marking their first collaboration together. In this work the artists will investigate the role of the Nation State in the control and regulation of the female body, particularly through our contemporary legal and judicial systems. How did the female body come to be the focus of repressed histories and political desires under the regulation of the State?
The artists will work with communities of interest in Ireland and the UK, expanding on existing networks of solidarity between women that often remain invisible or written out of the usual postcolonial narrative. The artists will take the role of shadow researchers, tracing the contours of existing non institutional activist structures of support that enable women to navigate state repression against the female body, particularly related to reproductive rights. These ‘shadows’ will be mobile, performative research events staged by the artists and open to an elective community of interest. Together, these ‘shadows’ will work collaboratively to illuminate new possibilities for autonomy and embodied resistance.
The Irish Sea, the channel of water between the islands of Ireland and Great Britain, is a key territory for this project both symbolically and physically. The ambition is to locate the work between the UK and Ireland by casting into the space in-between. This site for the work creates a new possibility for estrangement of national identity b foreyond current legal and political boundaries.
In the Shadow of the State will be realised in public form in both Ireland and the UK in 2016, coinciding with the centenary of the Easter Rising in the Republic of Ireland with additional support from Dublin City Council Arts Office.