Wicklow’s brand new visual art initiative Kunstverein Aughrim presents a live, one-night-only, travelling Trunk Show with a pairing of special performances.
A short introduction (with props) will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about a Kunstverein. What it is, what it does, with whom, and how. Presented by founding director Kate Strain, Trunk Show features dramaturgy by Kate Heffernan, props by Forerunner, and a ditch spritz by Fiona Hallinan.
Packed inside Trunk Show is MAGPIE a new performance by Isadora Epstein, Cillian Byrne, and Stéphane Béna Hanly with stage paintings by Kathy Tynan, costumes by Amie Egan, and set by Millie Egan.
Kunstverein Aughrim is a not-for-profit curatorial office and production agency for contemporary art projects, located on the ground floor of a townhouse in the village of Aughrim, County Wicklow. It is Ireland's first art organisation based on the European model of a kunstverein (from the German word kunst meaning ‘art’ and verein meaning ‘club’ or ‘association’) and is part of the franchise established by Kunstverein in Amsterdam, with sisters in Milan, New York and Toronto. Designed to bridge the gap between artistic practice and public presentation in contemporary visual art in Ireland, Kunstverein Aughrim acts as a commissioning, development and production agency for new artistic productions.
Kunstverein Aughrim supports, mentors, promotes and represents the artists with whom it works, seeking to develop opportunities for patronage, collaboration and engagement at an early phase of the creative process, and to carry that through to the presentation stage. At the core of Kunstverein Aughrim’s ideology is a commitment to performativity, a belief in the necessity of art, and a desire to create the potential for extraordinary encounters with artistic practice. Kunstverein Aughrim is supported by The Arts Council and Wicklow County Council.
Kate Strain is the founding director of Kunstverein Aughrim. She was artistic director of Grazer Kunstverein (2016–2021), until she relocated to Wicklow, Ireland, to establish Ireland’s first Kunstverein. Knowing that Aughrim is difficult to reach, she devised this Trunk Show as a mobile introduction.
Isadora Epstein writes and makes performances from her research of art history and mythology. Epstein first presented her show MAGPIE for the launch of Kunstverein Aughrim in October 2022.
Kate Heffernan is a writer. A ‘yes-but-no-but-yes-but‘ writer, some days ‘playwright’, others days ‘theatremaker’, but always pleased by the makerly meaning of ‘wright’. On this project her role is dramaturg, with a focus on enhancing the theatricality of the production.
Forerunner is a collaborative art practice founded by Tanad Aaron, Andreas Kindler von Knobloch, Tom Watt. In 2021 they were commissioned to develop the inaugural artwork for Kunstverein Aughrim. During the production period, they distilled ideas and materials into props, collapsible rocks, and tools through which to describe the overall process.