The Symposium, Sexuality, Identity and the State is organised on the occasion of ‘Patrick Hennessy - De Profundis’ and ‘Carol Rama - The Passion of Carol Rama’ exhibitions at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA). In Part One, speakers include; Noreen Giffney, Sean Kissane, Riann Coulter, Eibhear Walshe.
Comprising of presentations by artists, writers, curators, educators and psychoanalysts, this symposium addresses issues of gender, sexuality, identity and the state as it relates to the work of artists, Hennessey, Rama and others. Participants will draw on queer theory, feminism and psychoanalysis across a wide range of practices, considering the centrality of gender within wider research agendas that span the history of art, culture and society.
The aim of this seminar is to provide the public with a deeper insight into the thinking and making of artist’s work where its subject matter address themes of gender, sexuality, desire and identity, in dissent to the state.
Historicising Artistic Practice: Patrick Hennessy and Others
The first panel features a series of talks dealing with the psycho-biography, and psycho-cultural and psychosocial matters: on the Irish artist Patrick Hennessy's life in relation to his art, taking into consideration the context of other artists’ work, and the psychosocial environment within which Hennessy lived and worked. The panel will look at the tensions between homosexuality representations and critical reception across the visual and literary arts, considering historical intersections between sexuality and culture over the years in Ireland, contrasted against conventional forms of categorisation.
Running Order of Partcipants
15mins: Noreen Giffney, Psychoanalytic psychotherapist & Symposium Chair.
30Mins Presentation: Patrick Hennessy De Profundis
Seán Kissane, Curator, Exhibitions, IMMA.
This paper will broadly address how Patrick Hennessy's sexuality coloured his work and the tensions that resulted between artistic intention and critical reception.
20Mins Presentation: Gerard Dillon Nationalism, Homosexuality and the Modern Irish Artist
Riann Coulter, Curator, FE Mc William Gallery, Banbridge.
Taking Gerard Dillon's painting ‘Self-Contained Flat’ (1955) as a starting point, this paper will consider how readings of Dillon's work that have focused on his nationalism and his romantic depictions of the west of Ireland, have failed to recognise the significant influence that his sexuality had on his art.
20Mins Presentation: A Wilde Shaped Silence
Eibhear Walshe, Senior Lecturer, School of Modern English, UCC,
considers the socio-political context of Hennessy’s work as it relates to notable literature figures of the time such as Oscar Wilde, Micheál Mac Liammóir, Kate O'Brien and Elizabeth Bowen. Walshe will address and the role of public reception and its effects on the changing representations of same sex desire across the literary in Ireland.
This symposium took place on 22 June 2016, IMMA. Organised by IMMA, in collaboration with Dr Noreen Giffney, Psychoanalytic psychotherapist and symposium chair.