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Work of the Week | 6 September 2021

CAG.2812 Nigel Rolfe, Into the Mire, 2011, video installation (still) (edition 1/3). Purchased, 2011. © the artist.

This WORK OF THE WEEK has just turned ten years old…

Into the Mire (2011) by Nigel Rolfe records one of the artist’s performance pieces as a response to the global financial crisis of a decade ago and serves as a metaphor for Ireland’s own economic collapse.

Filmed in the Bog of Allen, located west of Dublin between the Shannon and Liffey rivers, it “is a slow-motion capture of the artist falling into deep, dirty bog water.” Incongruously dressed in a clean white shirt, dark trousers, and formal shoes, the artist’s intentional fall registers as a visceral shock, his recovery requiring effort. Commissioned by Crawford Art Gallery, this significant performance articulates Rolfe’s research interest in place, landscape, and sociopolitics, which can be considered as emblems for human differences.

Nigel Rolfe (b.1950) is a performance artist and member of Aosdána. Born on the Isle of Wight, he moved to Ireland in 1974 where his performances attaining legendary status. The performance is a solitary event. His work also incorporates photography, video, and sound, and is held in the collections of Crawford Art Gallery and Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA). In addition, he has taught in Philadelphia, at the University of Pennsylvania, and in London, at the Chelsea School of Art and Design and the Royal College of Art (RCA).

Into the Mire (2011) by Nigel Rolfe is showing in our Screening Room (Floor 2) as part of Laura Fitzgerald: I have made a place until 19 September. Open daily | Free entry.

Tune into The Arts House with Elmarie Mawe on Cork’s 96FM and C103FM every Sunday morning as Conor Tallon chats with assistant curator Michael Waldron about each WORK OF THE WEEK! Listen back to this week's chat here:


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