The Burial of Patrick Ireland (1972 – 2008)

May 15, 2008

The Irish conceptual artist Brian O’Doherty, who has been living in New York since 1957, has finally decided to bury his alter ego Patrick Ireland in a ceremony that will take place at The Irish Museum of Modern Art on May 20.

Patrick Ireland was born in reaction to the Bloody Sunday killings in Derry in 1972, since then O’Doherty has started to sign his works using this ‘nom de guerre’ and has carried on assuming this name until the removal of the British military presence from Northern Ireland and until all citizens were accorded their civil rights. Now that these terms have been met, Patrick Ireland is ready to pass on in peacefulness. “We are burying hate,” says the artist, “it’s not often you get the chance to do that.” The Burial, which will be presided over by former Jesuit priest, and now museum director, Michael Rush, will symbolize the end of O’Doherty’s regrets towards his hometown and the beginning of a new course in his long artistic career, that has been recently honored in Ireland with a 50-year retrospective at the Dublin City Gallery, the Hugh Lane.

The artist, born in 1934 in Ballaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon, is also an appreciated writer and critic (author of the celebrated book Inside the White Cube), and he is currently Professor of Fine Arts and Media at the Southampton College Campus of Long Island University. His works are in the collections of the MetropolitanMuseum and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the SmithsonianAmericanArt Museum in Washington and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. He has exhibited at the Venice Biennale and at Documenta in Kassel, Germany.

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