artist bio
some words


Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin
1 May - 26 July 2015

First IMMA Collection showing of Include Me Out of the partisans manifesto and hanging of exhibition works in collaboration with curator Marguerite O'Molloy

link to:
Imma blog on project

Alan Phelan
Include Me Out of the partisans manifesto, 2012
Single channel HD video, duration 11:00 minutes
Two photo-murals and text panel

Ralph Gifford
Servicemen on Whiddy Island, Ireland, 1910-1919
from a scan of nitrate negative
Courtesy of Oregon State University Archives

Pablo Picasso
Two Women Running on the Beach (The Race), 1922
from photograph of the painting
Courtesy Musée Picasso, Paris

Tony White
Include Me Out, 2009
notes from the text published in Alan Phelan Fragile Absolutes, Irish Museum of Modern Art and Charta Books.


IMMA Collection: Fragments
1 May - 26 July 2015

IMMA Collection: Recent Donation
Alan Phelan

Alan Phelan’s film Include Me Out of the partisans manifesto, 2012 is being shown here for the first time. This film resulted from a solo show and project with the artist in 2009, titled Fragile Absolutes.

Phelan’s film began as a catalogue essay; the script is from a text by Tony White about Phelan’s work. This text took the form of a short fictional story for the book Fragile Absolutes, published on the occasion of Phelan’s solo show at IMMA.

This portrait of an artist as a domestic drama was created by re-cycling non-fictional references to Phelan’s practice and project, shown here as footnotes displayed at the entrance to the work.

The film’s seemingly ordinary narrative is complicated by an intense internal monologue, which shifts the tension to address the cyclical nature of ideas and how process implicates content. Additional photomurals accompany the work for this installation, these also reference source material; the Picasso painting mentioned in the final lines of the film and a photograph of two American soldiers doubling up as Partisans.

Commissioned by IMMA, and subsequently donated by the artist, the film marked the end of the Fragile Absolutes project, which unfolded over three venues in Dublin, Cardiff and Limerick.

Alan Phelan was resident on IMMA’s studio programme in 2007 – 2008, he is represented in the IMMA Collection by four works including a limited edition commissioned by IMMA.

IMMA statement:
This exhibition borrows its title from Philosopher Walter Benjamin’s comparison of the work of translation to re-assembling fragments of a broken vase – the individual fragments must come together, but need not be like each other. This could also be taken as an allegory for exhibition making, or collecting.

The exhibition includes the first-showing since their acquisition of a number of recent works by Irish artists, including The sky looks down on almost as many things as the ceiling, (2013) a wall based sculpture by Aleana Egan and commissioned works by Ronan McCrea and Alan Phelan. The latter two are lens-based works titled Medium (Corporate Entities) and Include me out of the Partisan Manifesto, which resulted from IMMA’s programme of temporary exhibitions. McCrea’s photographic enquiry into spaces where corporate art collections are hung, took place before the economic collapse.

Caoimhe Kilfeather’s newly acquired lead sculpture Abbreviation, (2011) joins works by Michael Warren, Shirazeh Houshiary, Brian King and Kathy Prendergast selected from the IMMA Collection. These works have an aesthetic and historic affinity with the sculpture and drawing of Gerda Frömel – whose retrospective, will be running concurrently in IMMA’s Garden Galleries.

GILBERT & GEORGE’s large-scale photowork Smoke Rising, (1989), Nigel Rolfe’s Dance Slap for Africa, (1983) and will be shown along with other activist works or works with emphasis on performance including a film by Phil Collins and historic works by Marina Abramović.

Fragments will include a number of Subjectivist works by WW II imigrès, the White Stag artists, bequested by the late artist Patrick Scott to IMMA in 2014. Scott exhibited with the White Stag from 1941 and the group swopped each others paintings. The donation is particularly rich in key works by Kenneth Hall who was a close friend of Scott.

Now in her 85th year, Camille Souter’s works included in Fragments are among some of her finest works of the 1950s and 60s and show her interest in Miró, Klee, Jackson Pollock and Arte Povera. In 1958 Lucio Fontana bought two of her paintings.

A pioneer of Conceptual Art and author of the renowned Inside the White Cube, Brian O’Doherty / Patrick Ireland’s enduring obsession with themes of language, perception and identity are represented by a selection of his works from the IMMA Collection dating from 1954 onwards and include a major new Rope Drawing which is a recent gift to IMMA by the artist, entitled: The doors to good and evil and the windows to heaven - Christina's World, Rope Drawing No # 124, 2015.