BY CELINA MULDOON
Adorned in lavishly constructed Costumes multiple performers interact with and incite audience participation to interrogate and challenge notions around stereotypical ideas of representation and identity. The event commences with a voyeuristic tableaux and transfigures into a role swapping spectacle. Militaristic helmets adorned with go-pro cameras; live footage streamed to monitors positioned among the audience. How do we respond when the gaze is flipped? What unfolds when…’The Watcher’… becomes… The Watched? The farce plays out; perpetual; nonsensical; tit for tat squabbling; resonating; an underlying collective understanding. We are passively and unconsciously subject to constant scrutiny.
Referring to Foucault’s Panopticon theory, Judith Butler’s ‘Gender Performativity’ and analysing the body as representation of political agency, the work is realised through a sci- fi re-enactment of mythological narratives.
Designed by Jeremy Benthom in 1798 The Panopticon is a laconic architectural construct of modern disciplinary power. With this in mind I am trying to initiate dialogue between the viewer, the protagonist and the elliptical aspect of Bentham’s design. Foucault proposes that not only prisons but all hierarchical structures like the army, schools, hospitals and factories have evolved through history to resemble Bentham’s Panopticon. Borrowing from this concept this live interactive event plays with the subject of surveillance and Butler’s ideas around phenomenology and lived experience.
Space: Cube, Project Arts Centre
Duration: 30 mins
Festival Dates: Thur 26 April 2018
Start time: 6pm
Ticket price: Free (spaces must be reserved)
Identity and Memory are themes around which I investigate relationships between socio-political structures and the body. I use collaborative processes to test live performance methodologies in response to site and context. My performances and videos generate uncertainty through a kind of satire. Critical triggers of my live work rely upon audience participation and interaction. Audio and live installation elements work in tandem to manifest highly charged experiences unfolding momentarily in real time.
Recent research projects include a Live Art event in Temple Bar Gallery and Studios. This interactive installation was an architecturally informed response to Studio 6 and The Atrium Space in TBG&S. Referring to Foucault’s Panopticon Theory, Judith Butler’s ‘Gender Performativity’ and analysis of the body as a representation of political agency, the work was realised through a sci-fi re-enactment of mythological narratives. Borrowing from these theories, the work played with the subject of surveillance and ideas around phenomenology and lived experience.
Muldoon (b. 1980) is an Artist based in North West Ireland. She has recently been awarded The Next Generation Bursary Award and The Artist in the Community Scheme Award from the Arts Council of Ireland. Current research includes exploring ancient mythology in North West Ireland in relation to youth sub-cultures today. A second project involves delivering Live Art workshops to groups in ‘hard to reach’ areas in the North West.
Graduating with a First Class Honours in Fine Art from I.T. Sligo (2014) Muldoon completed a Masters in Fine Art, Sculpture and Expanded practices from the National College of Art and Design (2016). Her graduate multidisciplinary piece We are in cahoots…You and I was featured on James Merrigan’s SHITLIST 2016. It was selected by El Putnam of Mobius (Boston) to be screened for Interference: Performance Art in Ireland at Boston Cyberarts Gallery in September 2017. Her work has been purchased by the Institute of Technology, Sligo for their permanent collection. She was a member of Jesse Jones’ Feminist Collective in NO MORE FUN AND GAMES, Dublin City Gallery and has performed with Amanda Coogan in I’LL Sing You A Song From Around The Town in The Royal Hibernian Academy.
Live performance venues include the Firkin Crane theatre, Cork, Livestock; Performance Art platform, Dublin; The Complex Gallery, Dublin and MART Gallery Dublin. Muldoon has recently exhibited in Glasgow with WAVEparticle and Celine Gallery. Between June and December 2016 she completed the ‘cultural dialogues’ residency in MART studios and Gallery, Dublin. She has performed with Dublin Live Art Festival 2017. As part of the Next Generation Award she has recently concluded a residency in the Tyrone Guthrie centre.
Writer and Philosopher Dr. El Putnam writes of Muldoon’s 2016 work Navel Gazing with Nora Helmer:
Muldoon cultivates a false façade of hospitality glazed in the consumable culture within which we exist. She changes her headdresses throughout the performance, taking on the form of a dominatrix that complicates the scenario presented. At certain moments she pauses, gazing nowhere as tears seem to collect in her eyes, alluding to a crack in her emotional mask. These psychic shimmers slip away to the beat of the music providing the soundtrack, alluding to a hidden depth of human relations that exceeds the public eye. Her performance is an exaggerated spectacle that simultaneously reveals its falseness and hides an unknown truth, acknowledging the complexity of life within the home.