Through the Narrow Gap of the here-and-now, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin

July 2021
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30 July 2021 – 2022

at the Irish Museum of Modern Art

Exhibition virtual tour

The Narrow Gate of the Here-and-Now celebrates IMMA’s 30th birthday with a major museum-wide exhibition showcasing the IMMA Collection and the history of the Museum since 1991. Presented in four Chapters, each one explores specific themes within IMMA’s 30-year history.

The third chapter, Social Fabric, curated by Georgie Thompson, positions textile and its histories at the heart of this exploration of the here-and-now. This chapter considers themes of globalisation, technology, labour, community and agency through artworks that engage with textile as commodity, material and craft. These ideas form pathways across the exhibition, from feminist work to heirlooms, woven acts of resistance to the relationship between weaving technologies and computer code.

The exhibition considers textile as a commodity, associated with global industry and exchange and addresses the association of textile production with ‘women’s work’, domestic industry and labour. It explores the opportunity provided by textile making and materiality for personal expression and agency. Proposing that ‘Textiles’ not only empowers through its frequently subverted association with the ‘tender crafts’, but also as a symbol of care, repair, heirloom of knowledge and self-sufficiency. The interconnected relationship of textile production and the development of computers and contemporary digital technologies is also explored.

Artists: Bassam Al-Sabah, Louise Bourgeois, Sarah Browne, Rhona Byrne, Harold Cohen, Maureen Connor, Rachel Fallon, Ahree Lee, Ibrahim Mahama, Leanne McDonagh, Colin Middleton, Sibyl Montague, Ailbhe Ní Bhriain, Kathy Prendergast, West Tallaght Women’s Textile Project, William Hogarth, Elinor Wiltshire.

The exhibition is designed by the collaborative architecture and design practice led by Jo Anne Butler and Tara Kennedy.

Caption: installation view of works by Kathy Prendergast and Sarah Browne. Photo: Ros Kavanagh