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Irish Museum of Modern Art announces its 30th Birthday Programme
Patrick Hall, Burning Tree, 2006, Ink and pastel on paper, 12 x 14 cm, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Donation, 2008, © the artist.

DUBLIN.- A new programme, IMMA Outdoors, that activates the grounds with artist commissions, events, collaborations, social distanced spaces and cafés, creating a new radically public space for visitors to safely engage with IMMA, is part of a rich and extensive 30th Birthday programme at IMMA, announced today. IMMA’s 2021 programme also presents a new museum-wide exhibition showcasing the IMMA Collection and the history of IMMA since 1991, The Narrow Gate of the Here-and-Now, will open in phases from July to celebrate 30 years of IMMA and the global contemporary.

This spring IMMA launches a new programme IMMA Outdoors, that activates the 48 acres of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham and safely connects audiences through artist commissions, performances, talks, workshops, tours, pop-up exhibitions and open-air cafes. Building on the success of last year’s outdoor space The People’s Pavilion and our Social Distancing Circles, IMMA Outdoors will turn the museum’s programme inside out, creating an inspiring programme of activities and events. As IMMA celebrates its 30th Birthday, the IMMA Outdoors programme reflects on and activates the museum’s recent contemporary history alongside the site’s historical resonances. The emphasis for the programme lies in ideas of civic agency, self-determination, global interconnections, environmental concerns and what it means to be radically public by creating an inclusive meaningful space for all ages to relax, contemplate and enjoy. Highlights of the programme include A Radical Plot where IMMA’s Residency Programme artists will create a ‘Studio Street’ of activation; site commissions Young Fossil by collaborative practice Forerunner; Ping Pong Diplomacy by Mark Clare; and Encounters a commission by IMMA and Eva International resulting in a new sound installation by Em’kal Eyongakpa.

To celebrate our 30th birthday IMMA will present a museum-wide exhibition showcasing the IMMA Collection and the history of the Museum since 1991 in the exhibition The Narrow Gate of the Here-and-Now, IMMA: 30 Years of the Global Contemporary. Opening in four phases throughout 2021, with each new chapter exploring specific themes within IMMA’s 30-year history. This is the first time that the museum has been given over entirely to showing the IMMA Collection and will showcase a selection of recently acquired artworks to the Collection through a fund from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

Commenting on the programme for the birthday year IMMA Director Annie Fletcher said: “In these extraordinary times IMMA Outdoors aims to revitalise the museum’s role to create a public space that is truly open to all, promoting free expression, human connection and civil well-being. IMMA was founded as a centre for innovation and experimentation in 1991 and 30 years on our founding beliefs ring true. We hope that IMMA will become a radically public space for people to enjoy, relax and feel safe in. We also look forward to opening our galleries again to present the exhibition ‘The Narrow Gate of the Here-and-Now’ in which the full depth of the treasure that is the IMMA Collection can be explored. We hope you enjoy experiencing IMMA at 30.”

IMMA places Engagement & Learning at the core of our programme. In 2021 we will continue to deliver our successful Art & Ageing national programme in partnership with Creative Ireland. Our annual International Summer School was successfully transferred online in 2020 with some 900 participants, this year’s programme will also be offered online continuing this global reach. IMMA’s Talks programme will have a particular focus on the School of Xenogenesis, a programme which offers people of all ages a platform to explore issues of ecology, shared values of community, solidarity, inclusion, self-determination and hope. Programmes that engage with the IMMA Collection and IMMA/RHK as a site for research are in development with a number of education partners both nationally and internationally. We will continue the successful delivery of our engagement programmes online, these include primary and second level schools; third level student programmes; adult, family and teen programmes.

When current lockdown restrictions due to Covid-19 are lifted IMMA will reopen its galleries with Paula Rego, Obedience and Defiance, which continues until 26 May 2021. This major retrospective of the work of renowned Portuguese artist Paula Rego has been a highlight with audiences. Also reopening is Ghosts from the Recent Past a major exhibition from the IMMA Collection that explores how urgencies of the recent past continue to inhabit the present. The Artist’s Mother is the latest project in a series of responses as part of the IMMA Collection: Freud Project 2016-2021. Central to the project is the work of artist Chantal Joffe who has portrayed her mother, Daryll, in an exceptional series of paintings inspired by Lucian’s Freud paintings of his mother, Lucie. Now available to view online as a virtual exhibition and when we reopen in a gallery display in the Freud Centre. Northern Light is drawn from the collection of photography amassed by Dr David Kronn over the past 25 years. This exhibition presents work by photographers that examines the history of the conflict in Northern Ireland and places it alongside other events internationally. This exhibition is also now available to view online.

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