'Raking History'

Research output: Non-textual formPerformance

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‘Raking History’ Performance by Brian Connolly as part of ‘Future History’ Site-specifc Performance Art Event as part of the Dublin Live Art Festival in the Killmainham Jail to mark the 1916 Celebrations. May 2016. Site-specific durational performance as part of ‘Future Histories’, Curated by Niamh Murphy and Áine Phillips, who invited16 Irish artists to Kilmainham Gaol to respond to its iconic historical associations with the 1916 Rising. Invited Artists were asked to develop new performances, with relevance to and/or responsive to the Kilmainham Jail context and the specific history of the ‘Irish Rising’. The resulting performance lasted 6 hours. During the action the artist raked the gravel surface of the Exercise Yard in the Jail. While raking he uncovered hidden images of the Rising and of several Meteors and Comets. These had been hidden in the gravel by event staff before the artist performed in the space. During the performance, at specific times, the artist weeded the gravel and removed foreign bodies such as nails, glass, fragments of brick, plastic, etc. These items were placed on opposing chairs at the side of the gravel area. Circles were raked into the gravel, around a series of glasses, which had been filled with water. Under each glass was a photograph of one of the prisoners shot at Killmainham, after the Rising. During the performance the artist taped coppiced hazel to the legs of an upturned table with coloured insulating tapes. At the end of the performance this table was turned upright and stood up on the new extended legs. He then left the space.Future Histories formed part of the Arts Council’s ‘Art: 2016 Project’ to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising. It was supported by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, through its Ireland 2016 Programme.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2016
EventFuture Histories' - Kilmainham Jail, Dublin, Irleand.
Duration: 21 May 201621 May 2016


  • Future Histories Project
  • Ireland 1916-2016 celebration
  • Kilmainham Jail Performance
  • The Rising
  • Brian Connolly
  • Performance Art
  • performance Art reflecting on history
  • History Table

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