The Reading Room, 2010-12
(co-curated with ︎︎︎Dominique Hurth)
library, exhibitions and events,
with various invited artists & writers
At Flutgraben Berlin, Grand Union Birmingham,
Oranienstrasse Berlin, and various other temporary sites
The Reading Room was a project that had the aim of maintaining, archiving and representing products of contemporary art practices evolving within printed and published formats. The Reading Room was a curated selection of over 75 artist’s publications (books, zines, magazines and newspapers) and related projects (such as fold-out posters or published audio projects), from a range of internationally based artists, both established and emerging.

In addition to the traditionally known artist-made books, artist monographs or exhibition catalogues, the published format itself is today regularly viewed as a primary site for an artist’s engagement. While often considered as secondary to the more prevalent presentation space of the gallery, the act of publishing has developed itself into a self-contained and highly resonant method of artistic expression. The Reading Room focused on the publication utilised as medium and context for art practices, in which the artists choose deliberately and critically to engage with the format, using its materiality, edges and frame as tools for both visual and semantic communication.

The project manifested itself most notably in Flutgraben studio complex and art-space in Berlin, Germany, as well as in Grand Union gallery in Birmingham, UK. It also had a short presence in an apartment-space gallery in Berlin, during a series of related artist talks and performances in Flutgraben Berlin, and in the form of one-off presentations during various events in Berlin, Dublin and Paris.
Travelogue Art Zine
A4 digitally-printed publication series
and parallel online editions,
with various invited artists & writers
Berlin, Germany
Travelogue Art Zine was a publication that gave prevalence to the developing, fragmentary, and indeterminate in art practice: on-going research, sketches, fragments of writing, notes and documentation, developing ideas and essays. It recognised the particular energy of that fluid stage of research and experimentation, devoid of conclusive imperatives. Simultaneously, it acknowledged the disorientation and tension that exists before resolution; and the fearful possibility of actions remaining as a rehearsal for a never-arriving event. 

There were three thematic issues of Travelogue Art Zine, inviting contributions from numerous artists and writers from Ireland, the UK, Sweden, France, Australia and Germany, including Dominique Hurth, Nina Canell & Robin Watkins, Denis McNulty, Uli Westphal, Sarah Browne, and Stephen Brandes.

It was available in various art galleries and art-related bookstores, via mail-order, and in online editions. In 2010 Travelogue Art Zine contributed to the THANKS FOR SHARING! event on art zines at ︎︎︎D21 Kunstraum in Leipzig, curated by ︎︎︎Regina Ehleiter.

Sweet Futures
Artist:Sarah Browne
Commissioned by Carlow Count Council’s Visualise programmme, Ireland
The Visualise programme was an advance programme of temporary public sculpture and events before the construction of the Irish National Centre for Contemporary Art in Carlow. Commissioned to curate a project, I invited artist ︎︎︎Sarah Browne to respond to socio-economic specifics in the town. Browne took as a departure point the recent closure of the long-established sugar processing plant, a major local employer and previously a factor in the town’s self-identity, producing a glossy-format magazine that linked the factory to tourist sites on former sugar plantations in the Caribbean. Sweet Futures took an archival, critical and at times satirical look at shifting land use, located memory, global economies and local aspirations. The publication was distributed for free locally.
Hedge School
Artist:Glenn Loughran
Commissioned by Carlow Count Council’s Percent-for-Art scheme, Ireland
I was invited to curate a temporary public art project in a rural area under the Percent-for-Art scheme. I selected artist and educator ︎︎︎Glenn Loughran, who had a wealth of experience working creatively with youth in urban areas, to apply his methodologies to a rural context and conceive of a new project. Working with a variety of local stakeholders, Loughran devised Hedge School, a temporary ‘school house’ constructed of site-specific materials, wherein he devised a summer-long programme of creative-based social pedagogy for a local group of young teenagers. The school house was deconstructed after the end of the programme.
The Forgotten Zine Archive
various zine creators, writers & artists
Self-initiated and -funded project
Dublin, Ireland
The Forgotten Zine Archive is a large collected of over 1200 zine that I established to provide a space for the breadth and history of underground publishing and print ephemera, relating to punk and other sub-cultural communities as well as a spectrum of marginal and cross-sectional socio-political positions. Founded through the donation of material, I established the archive at well-known independent arts space The Warehouse (of which I was also a founding member) in inner-city Dublin, co-hosted a regular Sunday reading café and several off-site events. I was asked to loan 429 publications, the entire Irish section of of the archive, to artist ︎︎︎Sarah Pierce for her project Monk’s Garden as part of the 2005 representation of Ireland at the Venice Biennale.

After 2007 I permanently entrusted the archive to the social centre Seomra Spraoi, and it has been subsequently managed by librarian and zine publisher Mick O’ Dwyer, among others. The Forgotten Zine Archive continues to this day in new ︎︎︎iterations.