'Herding surrogates' with Ciarán Ó Dochartaigh

13 Apr 22
Horse drawing by Susan Conte
Ciarán Ó Dochartaigh
Herding surrogates is a new live event coinciding with artist Ciarán Ó Dochartaigh’s solo exhibition Ferox taking place on Wednesday 13 April 2022, 8pm–9pm. There's no need to book, just drop by in time for the beginning of the event.

Visitors can join CCA and Ciarán on-site at Lenamore Stables in Muff, County Donegal to meet the horses and experience an installation as well as participate in live action role play (LARP) as part of artist Ciarán Ó Dochartaigh’s research-based practice.

Drawings affixed to the inner perimeter of the show-jumping arena fence will act as a guide and introduction to the event. A round table split in two semi-circular halves – which is currently on display in Ferox at CCA – will feature in this event. It will be re-used in the show-jumping arena as part of the architecture, and then reconstructed as a multi-user interface to host barley, straw, apples and equine massage tools for the resident equines and human audiences.

The short LARP will take place with the guests using surrogate prosthetic equine ears which contain binaural microphones to record the participants from the perspective of the horse. Through live reading of a short story by the artist, participants are invited to engage with stories of interrogation and forced conditioning during political incarceration.

The event asks us to think about parallels between humans and equines, and what can be learned and applied in a broader context across the north of Ireland. Can we suggest that there might be a shared constellation of care and conditions within a particular community and how that speaks to ideas of kinship? Communing with animals raises questions of care and kinship. How might we apply similar approaches to addressing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?

Speculative massage tools for a family of Donkeys was initially presented at MARs at Goldsmiths College Department of Art as a LARP with horse whisperer Kelly Marks.

'Herding surrogates' with Ciarán Ó Dochartaigh