The Ladder is Always There | Amanda Coogan at Contemporary Irish Arts Center Los Angeles


The Ladder is Always There | Amanda Coogan at Contemporary Irish Arts Center Los Angeles Date/Time
Date(s) - 15/06/2019 - 05/07/2019
1:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Contemporary Irish Arts Center Los Angeles




Runs to July 5th

Open Wed – Sun, 1-6pm

Curated by Matthew Nevin & Ciara Scanlan.

In The Ladder Is Always There, internationally renowned Irish performance artist, Amanda Coogan, will create an immersive site specific installation alongside a series of live performances.

Continuing her explorations of embodiment and liveness, Coogan’s installation hangs over the gallery of CIACLA. Audience walk into and stand underneath its groaning presence. First commissioned by MOCA Jacksonville in response to a hand painted dress by Mark Chagall for Stravinsky’s Firebird suite. Made of fabric the colour of the artist’s skin, the sculpture hangs entangled in peaks and troughs calling to mind a landscape, a seascape or an extension of the body. A ladder, suspended from the ceiling at an unattainable height, is always there; a metonym for the potential of movement and change. Through a series of live performances the installation will shapeshift. Performers will move the membrane of the sculpture, lowering and raising its peaks; shifting perspectives.

As with much of Coogan’s work the installation is visually stunning and carries with it poetic resonances. The activities of the silent bodies of the performers rearranging the installation suggest multi resonant layers of meaning. Their gestures, based on Irish Sign Language alongside the pulsating soundtrack – relating to the Adrienne Rich poem, Diving into the Wreck, pour further rich sources to the work.  The Ladder is Always There speaks to a metaphorical journey in which Coogan and by extension, the other performers, dive into or work to overcome an obstacle.

The first iteration of The Ladder is Always was commissioned by and exhibited at the Museum Of Contemporary Art Jacksonville in 2018/2019. We show it here at CIACLA with special thanks to Caitlin Doherty.


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