McGibbon O’Lynn: Xenophon: Life With Life Inside
A collaboration between visual artist Siobhán McGibbon and writer Maeve O’Lynn.
Life With Life Inside is a new installation by visual artist Siobhán McGibbon and writer Maeve O’Lynn, exploring the concept of post-human reproduction, a celebration of the divine feminine and a paean to the female body. A ritualistic and site-specific space, Life With Life Inside marks the departure from one world and entry into another, inspired by Cobh’s history as the departure for millions of emigrants bound for the new world, many through necessity rather than choice.
Life With Life Inside is part of McGibbon O’Lynn’s on-going Xenophon Project collaboration and is inspired by the concept of personhood – in interrogating whether human is an a priori criterion for what it is to be a person, they are also interested in the aftermath of the campaign to repeal the Eighth Amendment, the long fight to win and finally enjoy bodily autonomy, and the female body itself. McGibbon O’Lynn simultaneously showcase the sense of freedom and full personhood this change has wrought, while reflecting on the fact that these rights are denied to or are at risk in countries all around the world. While the show runs, the North of Ireland waits impatiently for 21st October to arrive, when both abortion and equal marriage will begin the long awaited process of passing into law in the absence of a government at Stormont, and for the first steps down this road to finally be taken.
This title Life With Life Inside is taken from a line from Xenophon: Reanscens Ex Aqua, a new pamphlet of erasure poetry and images by McGibbon O’Lynn which hybridises the entirety of their alternate history of tomorrow, The Xenophon Archive (xenophonproject.org) to date, which will be launched as part of this show at Sirius Arts Centre.
In this installation, the viewer is invited to enter an inverted futurespace, completely transfigured and contemplate fertility, reproduction and engage in veneration of the female.
Irish based artist Siobhán McGibbon (Cork) and writer Maeve O’Lynn (Belfast) began their collaboration on The Xenophon Project in 2015. The Xenophon Project is an inter-disciplinary art and words project that employs sculpture, narrative, animation and technology to explore the interstices between art and science, and the future of the human species in the anthropocene epoch. Xenophon is a speculative commentary on a spectrum of related bio-ethical issues: current research in bio-inspiration, regenerative medicine, stem cell applications, transhumanism, and immortality.
Life With Life Inside also features a new critical essay exploring the evolution of their work to date and their cultural and contextual touchstones.
Supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Cork County Council.