126 Present: Thursday’s Clinic | NEW WORK BY BREDA LYNCH


126 present:


February 9th – March 2nd  2013
Preview | Friday 8th February 2013 | 7pm

Convulsion image
Image: Breda Lynch, Convulsion, photographic image on acrylic mount, 2013


126 is delighted to present ‘Thursday’s Clinic’, new work specifically created for the 126 space in Galway. The body of work came about from a period of intensive research, begun on residency in the Cill Rialaig artist village in Kerry early in 2012.

The photographs reference the language of hysteria as described in the extensive collection of photographs shot by 19th century neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot at Saltpetriere Hospital in Paris of his medical muses. These postures and positions which articulated the distress of some of these women have subsequently been uncannily repeated in particular films; ‘Mother Joan of the Angels’, ‘The Exorcist’, ‘Possession’ and ‘The Snake Pit’. Here are depicted the same and similar postures of bizarre fits and spasms, paralysis of the limbs, inverted figures and faces, contortions and convulsions. Much of the horror in such films is predicated on threats to the body particularly the female body, either through its destruction, dissolution, convulsion, fragmentation, disempowerment or death.

An early childhood memory of a dream sequence from the 1948 film ‘The Snake Pit’, became the focus of the presented video installation. Utilizing strategies of cinematic appropriation the presented video installation ‘The Pit’ uses the remembered sequence where the main character Virginia finds her self in the most chaotic ward in the asylum. This scene conjures up horror, which lies in the threat to humanity and humanness, both individual and collective. The destruction of self emblematized by loss of face and voice.

The depictions of these bodies have histories; some motifs of posture and gesture are so persistent in visual culture as to suggest a valid trans-historicity, a kind of collective memory of forms.

Breda Lynch is a visual artist living and working in Limerick, Ireland. She received her BA Hons degree at the Crawford College of Art, Cork, MA from Chelsea College of Art, London and an MPhil from the University of Wolverhampton, England. She has mounted solo shows in Ireland and Northern Ireland. She has participated in-group shows in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, England, Italy, Turkey, Thailand China and the USA. Most notably of these shows was the BEFF – Bangkok Experimental Film Festival 2008 and the Irish Pavilion at World Expo, Shanghai 2010. She has been a recipient of the Artists Bursary Award from the Arts Council of Ireland and a number of Limerick City Council Artist Bursary Awards and was a prize-winner at Iontas in 2007. She has curated exhibitions, most notably ‘Darkness Visible’ with Ann Mulrooney at the Galway Arts Centre commissioned by the Galway Arts Festival in 2008, ‘A Poem of Friendship’ at Occupy Space, Limerick 2010, ‘Excavate, ’commissioned by Cork Printmakers and Cork City Museum, 2010 and ‘Other Drawings’ at Ormston House part of Creative Limerick scheme 2012.

Thanks to Austin Ivers, Isabella Oberlander and Mark O’Kelly for their support. Thanks also to Mike Fitzpatrick, Tracy Fahey and Marian Sheehan at L.S.A.D.