We're making a book

Added on by Kira O'Reilly.

Designer David Caines is currently in Helsinki working on a forthcoming publication on my work, Kira O'Reilly: Untitled (Bodies) which will be published this autumn by Live Art Development Agency and Intellect Books as part of their Intellect Live series. It is being edited by Harriet Curtis and Martin Hargreaves and has been supported by CARP the Collaborative Arts Partnership Programme.

Working with Harriet and David is a joy, this week is one of particular quickening as we're delving into my archive and boxes, working back into the first draft of the design with more materials, some of which has not been seen previously or not for a great many years. I am hoping that the book will perform some of the many links and spindle like connections that span across the arts, the sciences, art contexts, and the many threads of lineages that weave into the doings and makings of an art practice. 

You can read more about it here

Current Group Exhibitions

Added on by Kira O'Reilly.

Trust Me I'm An Artist, 13th May - 23rd June, Zone 2 Source, het Glazen Huis, Amsterdam.

The group exhibition of Trust Me, I'm An Artist opened on 13th May in Zone 2 Source, het Glazen Huis in Amstel Park, Amsterdam. It features works and documentation by many of the artists involved in the project, exploring of the ethicals of art and science. Photographic works and performance artifacts by Jennifer Willet and I from the previous evenings performance lecture, Be-wildering and ethics committee review at the Waag Society are one of the displays.

Splice Re-Examining Nature, 20th May - 12th November, Oulu Art Museum.

Splice Re-Examining Nature is curated by Nina Czegledy and the Bioart Society in partnership with Oulu Art Museum and presents artistic perspectives on our changing environment and relationship to Nature. The exhibition presents crossover works from contemporary perspectives, revealing current interpretations of the world we live in. Remains from the performance Be-wilderment (Nature Drag), presented as part of the opening event are in the exhibition.



Defiant Embodiments in Theatre, Sport, and Performance, 29th April 2017

Added on by Kira O'Reilly.

I am very much looking forward to presenting at this symposium this Saturday at Brunel University:


This symposium explores the concept of defiant embodiment in theatre, sport, and performance. It aims to consider artistic interventions into the practices of sport and physical culture (Cassils Becoming an Image, PanicLab’s Rite of Spring, Franko B’s Milk+Blood) as well as performances of defiant embodiment in the world of sport (Caster Semenya’s record breaking speed, Tommie Smith and John Carlos’s raised-fist gesture at the 1968 Olympics, Colin Kaepernick’s sat protests against the Star-Spangled Banner).'

  • How might the multiple defiant embodiments in theatre, sport, and performance intervene in and challenge discourses of identity and value constructed through regimes of gesture and movement?
  • What new and innovative research methods might we use to study such defiant embodiments?
  • What dangers and threats accompany the performance of defiant embodiment?

Taking place at Brunel University London’s Indoor Athletic Centre, Defiant Embodiments will explore research at the intersection of practice and theory, and will include a workshop in Olympic Weightlifting from Kristian McPhee (British Champion 77kg 2016) and a performance lecture from artist and scholar Kira O'Reilly.

I will present:


A series of contemplations of muscular embodiments across scale and duration, invoking gyms and laboratories and crashing on mats in the desert. A performance lecture of a body in muscular pause, enacting endocrine worldings of aging, specifically the thresholding of female middle aging.

The New Normal, Beirut and Istanbul

Added on by Kira O'Reilly.

The New Normal is an exhibition organized by artists Murat Adash and Hiba Farhat. The inaugural exhibition will take place in Beirut from March 10-12, 2017, followed by a second iteration in Istanbul from May 5-7, 2017.

I was invited to contribute a one page document along with other artists, writers, thinkers . . .

As seemingly distant and unlike things are remarkably linked into one another, the new rapidly evolves resembling the familiar as the familiar seems more and more ambiguous. What is most normal is also most strange and horrific. Although these propositions may appear mutually exclusive, in fact they might as well be mutually constitutive.

In response to the current social order that has implanted itself through recent global events into the new normal reality – the participants in the exhibition will critically investigate, document, identify, etc. what is the abnormal that has become commonplace. The New Normal invited contributions from around 200 international artists, composers, filmmakers, choreographers, writers, scholars, thinkers and individuals from a variety of other disciplines to each create a one-page paper document, which will be on view during the exhibitions.

Through drawings, sketches, notes, text, manifestos, scripts, recipes, maps, scores among other formats, this show proposes a revision and re-imagining of some of the narratives of the everyday, from an environmental, economic, social and creative perspective.

The complete list of participants are:

Mohamed Abdelkarim, Stephanie Acosta, Yesim Akdeniz, Karam Al Hamad, Mohamed Al Mufti, Hiba Ali, Ayad Almissouri, Ash Aravena, Rajee Aryal, James Gregory Atkinson, David Ayala-Alfonso, Kendall Martin Babl, Joëlle Bacchetta, Stephanie Bailey, Noah Barker, Daniel Barroca, Jeremy Bessoff, Blitz Theatre Group, Irina Botea, Halida Boughriet, Fiona Bryson, Jon Cates, Juliana Cerqueira Leite, Fares Chalabi, Musquiqui Chihying, Youngbin Choi, Christos Chrissopoulos, Eric D. Clark, Louisa Clement, Tarren Johnson & Joel Cocks, Laura Cooper, Maja Čule, Chelsea Culprit, Zuzanna Czebatul, Gina D'Orio, Angharad Davies, Marlin De Haan, Divya Dhar, Maurin Dietrich, Distruktur, Anastasia Douka, Sofia Duchovny, Övül Durmuşoğlu, Ambra Pittoni & Paul-Flavian Enriquez-Sarano, Elif Erkan, Hannah Feldman, Karin Ferrari, Francesca Fini, Born in Flamez, Arianne Foks, Forensic Architecture (Goldsmiths, University of London), Holly Fowler, Anastasia Freygang, Eric Bell & Kristoffer Frick, Kevin B Lee & Chloé Galibert-Lainé, Hadia Gana, Rainer Ganahl, Mohamed A. Gawad, Leyla Gediz, Rami George, Ramy Ghanem, Ingo Giezendanner (GRRR), Ian Giles, Mohamed Gohar, Veronica Gonzalez Peña, Alireza Goudarzi, Jared Gradinger, Katya Grokhovsky, Nazli Gurlek, Gordon Hall, Hanayo, Claudia Hart, Gloria Hasnay, Dafna Maimon & Ethan Hayes-Chute, Alisa Heil (aka Abraham Winterstein), David Helbich, Marietta Auras & Anja Henckel, Kurt Hentschlager, Ly Hoang Ly, Robert Hotchkiss Thomson, Etab Hrieb, Amal Issa, Khaled Jarrar, Jane Jerardi, Lara Kamhi, Areej Kaoud, Mine Kaplangı, Elana Katz, Helene Kazan, Sami Khatib, Amahl Raphaël Khouri, Jinjoo Kim, Raoul Klooker, Juljan Krause, Margaret Krawecka, Cara Krebs, Göksu Kunak, Stephen Kwok, Mehdi-George Lahlou, Lindsay Lawson, Dani Leder, Tómas Lemarquis, Kamin Lertchaiprasert, Jennifer Locke, Melissa Logan, Ghassan Maasri, Heather MacKenzie, Louis Mallozzi, Markues, Fabian Marti, Xavier Mazzarol, Eduardo Menz, Ahmad Mhidi, Nadine Milde, Zoë Claire Miller, Lin Mingyan, Hani Moustafa, Marlie Mul, Aya Nakamura, Sadaf H Nava, Nile Sunset Annex, Johannes E. Nowak, Kira O'Reilly, Julie Oh, Roger Outa, Chantal Partamian, Mary Patten, Manuel Pelmus, Alexis Blair Penney, Claire Pentecost, Mario Pfeifer, Rivers Plasketes, Natasha Pradhan, Kinana Qaddour, Anahita Razmi, Elliot J. Reichert, Wissam Saade, Walid Sadek, Mitsu Salmon, Fred Schmidt-Arenales, Wieland Schoenfelder, Chloe Seibert, Aram Han Sifuentes, Hayley Silverman, Blunt x Skensved, Alex Smith, Sheida Soleimani, Beatrice Steimer, Antoinette Suiter, Larin Sullivan, Frederika Tevebring, Keijaun Thomas, Robert Hotchkiss Thomson, Jan Tichy, Oxana Timofeeva, Petros Touloudis, Devdutt Trivedi, Colleen Tuite, Masha Tupitsyn, Tricia Van Eck, Amanda Van Valkenburg, Mark Van Yetter, Voin de Voin, Mark Von Shlegell, Calum Walter, Sama Waly, Arlene Wandera, Sarah Wang, Hsinyen Wei, Mikka Wellner, Jasmin Werner, Christoph Westermeier, Olav Westphalen, Yaloo, Nine Yamamoto-Masson, Zhiyuan Yang, Atalay Yavuz, Jiyoung Yoon, Mi You, Lena Youkhana, Chen Chen Yu, Snow Yunxue Fu, Bahar Yürükoğlu, Tobias Zielony, Pablo Zuleta Zahr

'Have you been an audience member / participant in Kira O’Reilly’s work? Can you contribute to a text?' By Rebecca French

Added on by Kira O'Reilly.

If you have been an audience member or participant in my work, do consider sending some thoughts and reflections to Rebecca French, who's putting together a piece for the forthcoming book on my work, 'Kira O'Reilly: Untitled (Bodies)'.

Co/editor Harriet Curtis explains, 'we're aiming to get a broad range of responses from audience members across the globe - share this post widely! Please send contributions to Rebecca (details below) - the deadline now extended until 1st August.'

Needless to say this book project is a significant and extraordinary project that I am very delighted to see come about.

Rebecca French writes:

'As you may know, the forthcoming monograph on Kira O’Reilly’s work, co-edited by Harriet Curtis and Martin Hargreaves, will be published in 2017 by Intellect Live, together with the Live Art Development Agency.

Kira has asked me to write a text for her book. Kira and I were at art school together in the mid-1990s and we have a 20-year friendship and relationship with each other’s work.

With my ongoing interest in participation and engagement, I have proposed inviting contributions from people who have had direct experience of Kira’s work – as viewer and/or participant – and editing these audience responses into a fabric of words, which complicate, compliment, interrogate, critique, laud and unpick Kira’s distinctive practice. A key characteristic of this text will be its deliberate aim to combine diverse responses from a great many audience members, who have experienced Kira’s work over the last 20 years.

I am inviting contributions to this text. You could contribute a word, several words, a sentence, a paragraph, an anecdote, a snapshot, a feeling, a response, from you as an audience/participant in Kira’s artwork. It could have been written at the time or just now, previously published or not.

I intend to credit all contributors to the text in the footnotes, away from the main text, which means that your name will be printed, but not linked to the actual text you contribute, so please feel free to write whatever you feel will add to a diverse viewpoint of Kira’s work. (It is also possible to not print your name at all if you prefer – so please let me know if you would like to contribute anonymously.)

Please email your words to me at info@frenchmottershead.com, with KIRA BOOK as the subject heading. Please include how you would like to be credited – your full name, anonymously etc.'

Ingenious and Fearless Companions at BOM

Added on by Kira O'Reilly.

I am really delighted to be part of this exhibition and project with Melissa Grant, Oliver De Peyer, Paul Shepherd, Anna Dumitriu, Alex May. The others have done the lions share but have been incredibly generous in allowing my enthusiasm for their work to form a contribution which will be in the form of an autopsy of the crumpled HAB (HIgh Altitude Bioprospecting ) device which was a research project initiated by biochemist Dr Melissa Grant from the School of Dentistry at the University of Birmingham, lab robotics researcher Oliver de Preyer and mathematician Paul Shepherd, they have searched for microorganisms adapted to life in space in order to consider their novel uses in biotechnology. Artists Anna Dumitriu and Alex May have been collaborating to produce a series of artworks that re-live the excitement of the original rocket launch in the Nevada Desert, the horror of a failed parachute and the despair of a crushed robot.

The exhibition also incorporates video-mapped archive films and sculpturally altered relics of the original launch, such as weather balloons, environmental samples from the black rock desert and extremophile bacteria.

You can read more about the entire project here and here


Preview at BOM onThursday 31 March 18:00 – 20:00pm

Revisiting Genesis by Oreet Ashery

Added on by Kira O'Reilly.

Revisiting Genesis is an artist web series written and directed by Oreet Ashery. It features a nurse who creates biographical slideshows for those actively preparing for death, and Genesis, an artist who is dying symbolically and otherwise. Revisiting Genesis responds to a diverse range of influences including feminist art practices and reincarnations, outsider politics, the loss of meaningful social structures under neoliberalism, the need for collective forms of self-organisation in caring for others, and the development of post death digital art legacies. Revisiting Genesis investigates the philosophical, political, practical and emotional implications of the processes surrounding death.

And I was fortunate enough to be one of the cast as Friend 4. Probably my most pivotal art making experiences come from either being in other peoples art works or from some kind of collaborative relationship and this was no different. I haven't seen the series yet, but the process of acting in it and being part of the community that Oreet created was catalytic to an entire cascade of creative thoughts in regard to my own practice that I've now musing on very happily. Plus I am now devotee of consciencious colour blocking.

The opening event will be Stanley Picker Gallery, Wednesday 13 April, 6pm-8.30pm

Commissioned by the Stanley Picker Fellowships at Kingston University and supported by a Wellcome Trust Arts Award, public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, Tyneside Cinema, Goldsmiths University of London, and waterside contemporary.

Appointment to lead MA in Ecology and Contemporary Performance

Added on by Kira O'Reilly.

Today the University of the Arts Helsinki made the announcment that I am to lead the new pilot MA in Ecology and Contermporary Performance (MEACP). I am delighted to accept the position and to contribute towards realising the vision of the programme along with colleagues, collaborators and most importantly the programmes students.

'MAECP attempts to respond to the questions and needs raised by the current ecological situation that implicates all species, as well as the current shifts taking place in the field of performing arts, from the perspective of relations and dependencies. MAECP investigates and develops the methodologies, practices and theoretical bases of contemporary performance while developing new forms of collaboration, interaction and knowledge production in between the art, the research and the sciences and within a posthumanist framework. It encourages the students to review and reformulate existing practices, to experiment with and invent new forms of performance making and to maintain openness not only towards various forms of art but also towards different fields and discourses.'

Further information about the programme can be found here

Love Letters to a (Post-)Europe 2 - 3rd October, Athens

Added on by Kira O'Reilly.

I will have a small work, ‘I came to the sea and I was scared. My heart is broken.' included in Love Letters to a (Post-)Europe, a curated event of short works performed in the context of a rapidly changing Europe and in a city whose country is currently bearing the brunt of austerity.

Το Love Letters to a (Post-)Europe είναι ένα ζωντανό γεγονός που θα πραγματοποιηθεί με τη συμμετοχή πολλών καλλιτεχνών και εκτυλίσσεται, στο πλαίσιο των δραματικών αλλαγών που συμβαίνουν στην Ευρώπη, στην πρωτεύουσα της χώρας που αυτή τη στιγμή βιώνει τη σφοδρότητα τη λιτότητας.

Participating artists:

Kate Adams (UK)
Demosthenes Agrafiotis (GR)
Brian Catling (UK)
cris cheek (UK)
Robin Deacon (UK/USA)
Vassiliki Dimou (GR)
Tim Etchells (UK)
Alec Finlay (UK)
Matthew Goulish (USA)
Guy Harries (UK)
Steven C Harvey (UK)
Catherine Hoffmann (UK)
Wendy Houstoun (UK)
Mikhail Karikis (GR/UK)
Brian Lobel (USA/UK)
Claire MacDonald (UK)
Georgios Makkas (GR)
Ivana Müller (HR/FR)
Mariela Nestora (GR)
Kira O’Reilly (IE/UK)
Florence Peake (UK)
Erica Scourti (UK/GR)
Maria Sideri (UK/GR)
Anna Sherbany (UK)
Jungmin Song (KR)
Yoko Tawada (JP/DE)
Nikki Tomlinson (UK)

Artists were invited to respond to the provocation below with a work no longer than 15 minutes in length - in any format - to be presented live.

Artists’ participation is an expression of solidarity with Greece. Everyone involved is covering his/her own expenses and Athens-based artists are hosting visiting artists.

In the Greek language there are more than four words for Love. Five years ago Europe entered a deep crisis indicating something that ran a lot deeper still, ‘a crisis of social imagination’ in which economic dogma had ‘taken hold of public discourse’ according to Berardi. This also marked the start of Europe’s uprising by its people: the encampments in Madrid, Athens, Rome, London and beyond. The body’s presence in public squares confirmed something infinite and unquantifiable to a global system. Now we seem to have come full circle and economic dogma is being used to inflict regime change. There has been a lot of debate on what has been enacted in the name of Europe over the last few months.

This event asks artists to respond with the action, idea or form of a love letter. Of now. It may also be ending it. An action approaching another, a double listening.

Levelled at this crisis of social imagination, economic dogmatism and neoliberal tyranny is imagination, empathy, sensuality, presence, being together, singular witnessing, living manifestos, stories, acts of friendship, fellowship, solidarity, refusals of order, nonsense, gifting, calls from and to the wilderness, rants, tough love, seductions, messages in brokenness, adoration, utopias and post-utopias, songs from the margins, addressing the now.

Concept and curation: Lisa Alexander
Production: Lisa Alexander & BIOS

Η συμμετοχή στο πρότζεκτ εκφράζει την αλληλεγγύη των καλλιτεχνών προς την Ελλάδα.

Όλοι όσοι είναι μέρος αυτού, συμμετέχουν αφιλοκερδώς, θα έρθουν στην Ελλάδα με δικά τους έξοδα και θα φιλοξενηθούν από τους καλλιτέχνες που έχουν τη βάση τους στην Αθήνα.

Οι καλλιτέχνες κλήθηκαν να ανταποκριθούν στην παρακάτω πρόκληση με ένα έργο – σε οποιοδήποτε φορμάτ και με διάρκεια όχι μεγαλύτερη από 15 λεπτά.

Στην Ελληνική γλώσσα υπάρχουν παραπάνω από τέσσερις λέξεις που περιγράφουν τις διαφορετικές μορφές της αγάπης. Σύμφωνα με τον Ιταλό θεωρητικό Franco “Bifo” Berardi, πριν πέντε χρόνια η Ευρώπη μπήκε σε μία βαθιά κρίση που υποδηλώνει ότι συμβαίνει κάτι ακόμη βαθύτερο, μία κρίση κοινωνικής φαντασίας, όπου το οικονομικό δόγμα έχει καταλάβει τον δημόσιο διάλογο. Αυτό το φαινόμενο σηματοδότησε και την εξέγερση των λαών της Ευρώπης: οι καταλήψεις σε πλατείες της Μαδρίτης, της Αθήνας, της Ρώμης κλπ. Η φυσική παρουσία σε δημόσιους χώρους επιβεβαιώνει κάτι απεριόριστο και μη μετρήσιμο στο παγκόσμιο σύστημα.

Αυτή τη στιγμή τα πράγματα έχουν κάνει τον κύκλο τους και διαφαίνεται ότι το οικονομικό δόγμα χρησιμοποιείται για να επιβάλλει καθεστωτική αλλαγή. Τους τελευταίους μήνες, ο δημόσιος διάλογος σχετικά με το τι έχει θεσπιστεί στο όνομα της Ευρώπης έχει φουντώσει.

Το ζωντανό αυτό γεγονός ζητά από τους καλλιτέχνες να ανταποκριθούν με την πράξη, την ιδέα ή τη μορφή μιας ερωτικής επιστολής. Του τώρα. Μπορεί η δράση αυτή να τερματίζει τον διάλογο εντελώς. Μπορεί να είναι μία πράξη που προσεγγίζει μία άλλη, μία διπλή ανάγνωση.

Στο αντίβαρο της κρίσης της κοινωνικής φαντασίας, του οικονομικού δογματισμού και της νεοφιλελεύθερης τυραννίας είναι η φαντασία, η ενσυναίσθηση, ο αισθησιασμός, η παρουσία, το να είμαστε μαζί, η εμπειρία του να βλέπεις κάτι με τα ίδια σου τα μάτια, τα ζωντανά μανιφέστο, οι ιστορίες, οι φιλικές κινήσεις, η συνεργασία, η αλληλεγγύη, η ανυπακοή, οι σαχλαμάρες, το να κάνεις δώρα, τηλεφωνήματα από και προς το πουθενά, το παραλήρημα, η σκληρή αγάπη, οι αποπλανήσεις, μηνύματα στο κενό, λατρεία, ουτοπίες, μετα -ουτοπίες, τραγούδια από το περιθώριο, ο ορισμός του τώρα.

Ιδέα και επιμέλεια: Lisa Alexander
Συμπαραγωγή: Lisa Alexander & BIOS

"Care and Enchantment" summer school, July 2015, Cultivamos Cultura, Portugal

Added on by Kira O'Reilly.

Following the successful group show Just 40 at Cultivamos Cultura, in July I will return as a visiting artist for the annual summer school at Cultivamos Cultura holds.
'The intersection of Art, Biology and the Environment offer unique opportunities to visual artists. This innovative summer course will allow non-specialists to acquire theoretical and practical skills in biological and environmental sciences in connection to the visual arts.' The faculty are Marta De Menezes, Marie-Pier Boucher and Luis Graca. Visiting arists are Adam Zaretsky, Andrew Carnie and myself.

Email: info@cultivamoscultura.org for details.

Performance Art in Ireland: A History, London launch on St. Patricks day.

Added on by Kira O'Reilly.

The London launch of Performance Art in Ireland: A History edited by Áine Phillips will be on 17th March at 7pm at Live Art Development Agency. See here for more details. The new, vital and immensely valuable publication includes some images and discussion of my work and I have been invited to contribute to a discussion at the launch.

Details of this launch and others can be found here.

The book can be purchased here


Added on by Kira O'Reilly.

Prologue is a 2 week artists' lab, hosted by PanicLab in association with Artsadmin. 3 pairings of performance artists have been invited to explore and develop new ideas: Joseph Mercier/Jordan Lennie & Mark Ravenhill, Jamila Johnson Small & Peggy Shaw and Kira O'Reilly & Flora Wellesley Wesley.

Prologue hopes to foster a unique intergenerational and interdisciplinary exchange, giving way to the potential for new artistic projects and collaborations.

It will take place March 2015 at Toynbee Studios. Updates will be posted on Artsadmin's blog for updates from the artists.

Funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, and supported by Artsadmin.