Sarah Browne is an artist based in Ireland. She is particularly concerned with how socially-engaged art projects can develop methodologies that are not solely discursive, in order to address non-verbal, bodily experiences of knowledge and justice. This primarily sculptural practice also includes writing, publishing, performance and public projects, encountered both within and outside gallery environments, as well as extensive collaboration.
Last year she developed Report to an Academy, a film essay exploring a third level educational institution as a Kafkaesque, neoliberal workplace. This was commissioned by Manual Labours, a research project focused on the ‘complaining body’ in the contemporary workplace and will be staged as a solo exhibition and academic workshop at Marabouparken, Stockholm in April 2017. Also in 2016 with Jesse Jones she made ‘In the Shadow of the State’, a major collaborative co-commission by Artangel and Create, and one of the nine national projects as part of ART:2016 commissioned by the Arts Council for the commemoration of the Easter Rising in Ireland. This work involved close collaboration with women in the fields of law, music, material culture and midwifery, and addressed the regulation of the female body by the nation state through a series of legal workshops and performances in Derry, Liverpool, Dublin and London. In 2009 Browne co-represented Ireland at the 53rd Venice Biennale with Gareth Kennedy and Kennedy Browne, their shared collaborative practice. She lectures in the Department of Sculpture and Expanded Practice at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin.
Looking to feminist legal theorists such as Martha Fineman, who proposes a model of human rights based on vulnerability and care-giving rather than autonomy and resilience, Browne’s project at UCD will explore tactics and choreographies of cultivating more empathic bodies. Looking also to the sport culture on campus, often considered outside the space of art, she will consider physical culture as a space of both potential transformation and social and political coding. Where classically the gymnasium can be a place of cultivating individualised ideals of physical perfection, this project inverts this goal, appropriating some of the framework of ‘training’ to work instead towards deeper understandings of vulnerability and inter-dependency.
This 2017 residency is supported by a new partnership between UCD Parity Studios and Create - national development agency for collaborative arts and the Collaborative Arts Partnership Programme (CAPP) which is funded by Creative Europe. The Collaborative Arts Partnership Programme (CAPP) is an ambitious transnational cultural programmefocusing on the dynamic area of collaborative arts. The overall goal of CAPP is to improve and open up opportunities for artists who are working collaboratively across Europe, by enhancing mobility and exchange whilst at the same time engaging new publics and audiences for
collaborative practices. CAPP’s Residency Programme seeks to explore new models of arts participation and cooperation and encourages an exchange
of artist’s methodologies and practices in context.
1. Sarah Browne, Report to an Academy, 2016. Still from HD video, 28 minutes.
2. Sarah Browne, Report to an Academy, 2016. Still from HD video, 28 minutes.
3. Sarah Browne and Jesse Jones, The Touching Contract, 2016. Detail of performance at the Court Room, Toynbee Studios, London, with performer Yinka Esi Graves. Part of the project In the Shadow of the State. Photo: Miriam O’Connor.
4. Sarah Browne and Jesse Jones, The Truncheon and the Speculum, 2016. Still from live online broadcast produced for the Liverpool Biennial as part of the project In the Shadow of the State.