The Magdalene Series: Jesse Jones: The Tower

Friday 27 May – Saturday 24 September 2022
The Magdalene Series: Jesse Jones: The Tower | Friday 27 May – Saturday 24 September 2022 | RUA RED

The Tower is a new film installation by artist Jesse Jones based on the mystical works of 14th-century women writers and thinkers. The artwork aims to explore the lost knowledge of women’s devotional and ecstatic visions, and ask the question: Who came before the witches?

Premiering in Rua Red as part of The Magdalene Series, the film features a cast of fourteen young women from a girls’ choir in collaboration with composer Irene Buckley and Junk Ensemble with costumes developed with Roisin Gartland.

More information TBA.

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” whose title is inspired by the 1970s Italian wages for housework movement, during which women chanted “Tremate, tremate, le streghe sono tornate! (Tremble, tremble, the witches have returned!)”.

Jones’ work emerges from a rising social movement in Ireland which calls for a transformation of the historic relationship between the church and the state. She is currently the inaugural artist in residency for the King’s Inn society of Ireland where she is researching the relationship between, Law, Testimony, and performance.

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The Magdalene Series is a programme of exhibitions, interventions, performances, and events curated by Rua Red Director/Curator Maolíosa Boyle and features five of Ireland’s leading artists: Amanda Coogan, Alice Maher, Rachel Fallon, Jesse Jones, and Grace Dyas. Rua Red commissioned the five artists to research and produce new work in response to Mary Magdalene.

The Magdalene series will explore Mary Magdalene’s associations with the incarceration and institutionalisation of women and other themes such as forced labour, morality, shame, reparation, and penitence.

The series will propose a new world, uncurbed by religious, political, or societal doctrine, a world led by the experience of Magdalene and viewed through the lens of contemporary feminism and feminist theology.

Mary Magdalene has been a subject of fascination and curiosity throughout history. She is a binary creation: conflicted and mysterious, noble and humble, strong yet morally weak, beautiful and haggard, passionate yet penitent, erotic and unreserved, reclusive and solitary. The Magdalene is the earthly, carnal, and sensual counterpart to the celestial Virgin. She embodies humanity and humility – she sweats, cries, and bleeds. The Magdalene Series is the culmination of a three-year collaboration between the artists and curator. The process has also included input from leading international theologians, academics, and researchers.

The Magdalene Series is generously supported by the Creative Ireland Programme South Dublin, The Arts Council, and South Dublin County Council Arts Office.

Friday 27 May – Saturday 24 September 2022
South Dublin Arts Centre
Tallaght, Dublin 24
Telephone: +353 1 451 5860
Opening hours / start times:
Monday 10:00 - 18:00
Tuesday 10:00 - 18:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 18:00
Thursday 10:00 - 18:00
Friday 10:00 - 18:00
Saturday 10:00 - 18:00
Admission / price: Free

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