History Lesson - Raising the Table - Right Here, Right Now, Dublin

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In the Performance Artwork – “History Lesson – Raising the Table” I had set up a series of materials within one of the Kilmainham Cells. These included assorted lengths of wooden batons, a table, chair, clamps, Images from current strife from the Middle East, a silver ball on a silver platter, a burnt Atlas, some short texts, among other items.Over the duration of the event I endeavoured, in a slow ritualistic manner, to raise the table by clamping lengths of wood to its legs one by one, and by using increasingly longer lengths of wood. Slowly and falteringly the table lurched back and forth as each leg was lifted in turn. The table eventually reached a height of some two and a half meters, almost touching the Cell roof, before it became fatally unstable and eventually through involuntary shaking one of the extended legs broke and gave way, spilling the contents on top, onto the floor.I supported the table on the three remaining legs, against the back wall of the Cell and delicately propped it in position with lengths of wood and eventually all the clamps were removed. it was pinned and balanced high within the space. I then sat on the chair holding the Atlas open towards the cell doorway and after some time I clamped the Atlas and chair to one long length of wood and both were raised high in the adjacent corner and propped in place.‘Performance Art Live’ Presented ‘Right Here, Right Now’ held for just one night, Thursday the 4 of November from 6pm, in the historic and powerful surroundings of Kilmainham Gaol, in Dublin.Visitors to this free event had the pleasure of experiencing twenty nationally and internationally acclaimed artists, performing simultaneously over a four-hour period throughout the cells and open areas of Kilmainham Gaols East Wing.Artists involved were: Alastair MacLennan, Aine Phillips, Amanda Coogan, Brian Connolly, Dominic Thorpe, Declan Rooney, Frances Mezzetti, Brian Patterson, Sinead McCann, Catherine Barragry, Fergus Byrne, Michelle Browne, Ann Maria Healy, Francis Fay, Pauline Cummins, Victoria Mc Cormack, Alex Conway, Sandra Johnston, Helena Walsh, Meabh Redmond and Niamh Murphy.(A Post event Catalogue and website are currently under production)(This event was curated by Amanda Coogan, Niamh Murphy and Dominic Thorpe of Performance Art Live -(P.A. Live). It was supported by the Arts Council of Ireland in association with the Office of Public Works (OPW). P.A. Live was set up in 2009 and is committed to the promotion of performance art in Ireland.)
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 4 Nov 2010


  • Right Here Right Now
  • Performance Art
  • Performance Art in Ireland
  • Brian Connolly
  • Brian Connolly Performance Art
  • Kilmainham Jail
  • Kilmainham Jail Events
  • Kilmainham Jail Performance Art
  • Durational Performance Art
  • Simultaneous Performance Art Practices
  • Raising The Table Performance
  • History Lesson Performance
  • Site Specific Performance
  • Performance with Political Issues
  • Performance and Instability
  • Political Performance Art


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