From the Studios: Sarah Pierce 'No Title'

18 June — 08 August 2020

Temple Bar Gallery + Studios presents Sarah Pierce's No Title, as the second release of From the Studios, a new online series of work by our studio artists.

No Title (2017) is an expansive project by Sarah Pierce that considers the condition of dementia in relation to the protocols of art making. Anchored in a series of modestly produced videos, and expanded through a portfolio of writings contributed by Sara Greavu, TJ Clark, Karl Holmqvist, Mason Leaver-Yap, Claire Potter and Jacob Wren, No Title actively questions the ethics of representation, and the limitations of clinical discourse in re-thinking subject-hood around dementia. Filming in her family home, and assisted by her niece operating camera, Pierce intimately guides her parents through a series of table-top exercises she developed, that speak of art-making, of habitude, of domesticity, but also unflinchingly of memory, of loss, and profound familial love. No Title pictures the painful process of renegotiating familial relations surrounding ‘the dementia subject’. When concepts like mother / daughter / husband are no longer reciprocated how do we relinquish our most primal bonds in the absence of terms to describe these radical new relations?

No Title emerged out a process of research in Derry where Pierce worked closely with curator Sara Greavu and artist John Beattie to develop a material vocabulary of dementia. Protocols that are repetitive, insistent, confabulating and withdrawing on the one hand, and administrative, corrective, protecting and yielding on the other, reveal dementia as a shared, dynamic condition. Each video in No Title is accompanied by a pdf that includes a script, an image inventory, and a text that responds to these protocols, expanding and attaching to other transformative narratives, including art. The currently accepted policies around care that regulate how subjects with dementia participate and appear in projects like this one, paradoxically, means they are often precluded from appearing at all, thus limiting the collective imaginary. The project’s title, No Title, refers to this absence and the many artworks where a nameable subject is missing.

No Title was originally commissioned by CCA Derry as part of the Our Neighbourhood public programme funded by Esmee Fairbairn.

Sarah Pierce is an artist based in Dublin. Since 2003 she has used the term The Metropolitan Complex to describe her project, characterised by forms of gathering in historical examples and those she initiates. The processes of research and presentation that Sarah Pierce undertakes demonstrate a broad understanding of cultural work and a continual renegotiation of the terms for making art, the potential for dissent and self-determination. Sarah Pierce works with installation, performance, archives, talks and papers, often opening these up to the personal and the incidental in ways that challenge received histories and forms of making. Her sources include civil rights movements and student culture, the historical legacies of figures such as El Lissitzky, August Rodin, and Eva Hesse, and theories of community and love founded in Maurice Blanchot and Georges Bataille.

Sarah Pierce’s work has shown widely in the EU, US and Canada with major exhibitions including Positions #2 at the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven and We are the Center at CCS Hessel Museum, Annandale-on-Hudson (both 2016), The Artist and the State at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2015), Push and Pull at Tate Modern and MuMOK Vienna (2010), and Nought to Sixty at the ICA London (2009). She has participated in major international biennials including Glasgow International with Chapter 13 (2018), Eva International (2016, 2012), Lyon Biennial (2011), International Sinop Biennial (2010), the Moscow Biennial (2007), and in 2005, Pierce represented Ireland in a group exhibition at the 51st Venice Biennale.

From the Studios features new and existing artwork, alongside opportunities for experimentation and testing ideas as online projects. We present a glimpse into artists’ studio practice through our website and social media platforms.

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