Event: Webinar: Artist Talk with Amanda Coogan
Format: Webinar (Online via zoom)
Date: Wednesday 12th January, 2022
Amanda Coogan – Bio
Amanda is an internationally recognised and critically acclaimed artist working across the medias of live art, performance, photography and video. She is one of the most dynamic and exciting contemporary visual artist’s practicing in the arena of performance. Her 2015 exhibition in the Dublin’s Royal Hibernian Academy, I’ll sing you a song from around the Town, was described by Artforum as ‘performance art at its best’. In recognition of her outstanding contribution to the arts in Ireland Amanda was elected to Aosdána in 2021.
Her extraordinary work is challenging, provocative and always visually stimulating. In 2010 the Irish Times said, ‘Coogan, whose work usually entails ritual, endurance and cultural iconography, is the leading practitioner of performance in the country’. Her expertise lies in her ability to condense an idea to its very essence and communicate it through her body. Using gesture and context she makes allegorical and poetic works that challenge expected contexts.
Her works encompass a multitude of media; Objects, Text, Moving and Still Image but all circulate around her live performances. She is at the forefront of some of the most exciting and prolific durational performances to date. The long durational aspect of her presentations invites elements of chaos with the unknown and unpredicted erupting dynamically through her live artworks, She is first and foremost an embodied practitioner. Her work often begins with her own body and challenges the expectations of the contexts, such as head banging to Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’, and signing the lyrics to Gill Scott-Heron’s ‘The Revolution will not be Televised’. Her work moves freely between solo presented live performances, group performances and living installation.
Amanda said ‘I construct, develop and understand my way to new work through the physical activity of making. My expertise lies in my ability to condense an idea to an essence and communicate it through my body. This is, possibly, rooted in my biography; I was brought up using Irish Sign Language as my mother tongue. The body, as a site of resistance, is the centrality of my work. My work is described as a site of intersectionality and is interdisciplinary in both form and content. I encompass a multitude of media in my practice; Objects, Text, moving and still Image, all of which circulate around my live performances. At once playful and challenging, my performances also address struggle and psychological resilience. My work is filled with Irish Sign Language vocabulary and littered with literary references. Using gesture and context I make multi-faceted works that leave ghostly trails in the memory.’
Among many awards Coogan received the Allied Irish Bank’s Art prize in 2004. She has performed and exhibited her work extensively including the Broad Museum, Michigan; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville, Florida; The Neimeyer Centre, Spain; The MAC, Belfast; Lismore Castle Arts, Waterford; HOME mrc, Manchester; The Golden Thread, Belfast; The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Contemporary Irish Art Centre LA, Los Angeles; The National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin; The Venice Biennale, Liverpool Biennial, The LAB, Dublin; Limerick City Gallery of Art; PS1, New York, The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, West Cork Arts Centre; Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam; Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris and the Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin.
Coogan holds a degree in Sculpture from Dublin’s National College of Art and Design. She was a Masters student of Marina Abramovic at the Hochschule fur Bildende Kunst in Braunschweig, Germany, and was awarded her PhD “Deconstructing and Reconstructing live Durational Performance in the Gallery” from the University of Ulster in 2013. She is an occasional lecturer at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin; Limerick School of Art and Design; The Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dublin; Dublin Institute of Technology and Crawford College of Art, Cork.