27 May—27 August
Rua Red, South Dublin Arts Centre
The Tower is a new work by artist Jesse Jones, and the third exhibition in the Magdalene Series at Rua Red, curated by Maolíosa Boyle.
Jesse Jones’ new film installation is the second part in a trilogy beginning with Tremble Tremble, which was commissioned for the Irish Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017.
Working with Rua Red dancers in residence Junk Ensemble, and a cast that includes actors Olwen Fouéré, Naomi Moonveld-Nkosi, and a young choir of performers, The Tower turns to the figure of the mystic and the heretic and questions ‘Who came before the witches?’.
The Magdalene Series features the work of five of Ireland’s leading artists Amanda Coogan, Jesse Jones, Grace Dyas, Alice Maher, and Rachel Fallon. The artists were commissioned by Rua Red in 2018 to create work in response to the conflicted and mysterious figure of Mary Magdalene. Over the last three years, the artists have been informed by a series of lectures by researchers, feminist theologians, and art historians on the history and legacy of the Magdalene, her association with the incarceration and institutionalisation of women, and the influence of religious, political and societal doctrine on her character.
Based on the writings of medieval female Christian mystics, ‘The Tower’ explores the women who were burned as heretics even before the first witch trials in the 17th century. It looks to a moment of radical potential, delving into the lost knowledge of women’s devotional and ecstatic visions and evoking the incarcerated penitent at prayer and at work.
About the Artist
Jesse Jones is a Dublin-based artist. Her practice crosses the media of film, performance and installation. Often working through collaborative structures, she explores how historical instances of communal culture may hold resonance in our current social and political experiences. Jones’ practice is multi-platform, working in film installation, performance and sculpture. Her recent work proposes a re-imagining of the relationship between the Law and the body through speculative feminism.
Using a form of expanded cinema she explores magical counter-narratives to the State drawn from suppressed archetypes and myth. Major public commissions include, in the Shadow of the State with Sarah Browne co commissioned by Create, Artangel and ART: 2016 She represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale 2017 with the project Tremble Tremble.