Project Atrium: Amanda Coogan

The Ladder Is Always There

November 26, 2018 - February 24, 2019

In Project Atrium: Amanda Coogan The Ladder Is Always There, internationally renowned Irish performance artist Amanda Coogan, draws inspiration from a variety of sources including art historical references, a poem by Adrienne Rich, and works from MOCA Jacksonville's permanent collection. The curvilinear lines painted onto the atrium walls suggest a seascape or landscape and recall the gestural marks from a ballet costume painted by early Modernist artist Marc Chagall, and likely danced in the Firebird ballet performed by the Ballet Russe. By carefully referencing elements from the dress, weaving rope and fabric into the piece, and incorporating vintage Joseph La Rose shoes (with their Jacksonville heritage), Coogan pairs more traditional markers of theater and costume with her physical performance.

Following the week of Coogan's on-site durational performances during the end of November, the installation continues to function as both a stage and a form of interactive sculpture. In this way, Coogan engages the lineage of performance art and its relationship to theater, dance, art history, gender, and fashion.


Tuesday, November 27 // 11 A.M.// Douglas Anderson School of the Arts

Wednesday, November 28 // 12 P.M. // La Villa School of the Arts
Thursday, November 29 // 1:15 P.M. // University of North Florida 
                                             7 P.M. // Phase Eight Theater Co.
Opening Reception: Members' Preview: Friday, November 30 // 7 P.M. 
        Phase Eight Theater Company
        Douglas Anderson School of the Arts 

        Public Preview: Friday, November 30 // 8 P.M. - 9 P.M.


Thank you to our sponsors
The Brooke and Hap Stein Emerging Artist Prize Fund
Driver, McAfee, Hawthorne & Diebenow
Culture Ireland
Carey and Jackie Cornelius

Special thanks to the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts Foundation for their support of collaborative arts education projects and partnership.





Amanda Coogan

Amanda Coogan

Critically acclaimed Irish artist, Amanda Coogan, works across media including live art, performance, photography, and video. Many of her performances incorporate sculptural elements such as brightly colored, altered, or painted fabric, drawing on her degree in sculpture from the National College of Art and Design in Dublin. Coogan also studied under acclaimed performance artist, Marina Abramović, from 1999-2001. Her oeuvre, including her durational performances engage a cross-disciplinary approach, incorporating drama, theater, fashion, and the body. She has performed and exhibited her work at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, the Neimeyer Centre, Spain, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, and the Van Gogh Museum, among others. 

Image courtesy of the artist.

Hello There

Caitlin Doherty

Caitlín Doherty

Executive Director

Caitlín Doherty has engaged with artists, students, and communities around the world throughout a career that spans Scotland, Ireland, Qatar, and the United States. She joined MOCA Jacksonville as Director in March 2017.

 Prior to taking the helm at MOCA, Doherty served as chief curator and deputy director of curatorial affairs at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University. Broad MSU - housed in the striking, 46,000 square-foot Zaha Hadid-designed building - serves as both a teaching institution and a cultural hub for the East Lansing region. During her tenure at Broad MSU, Doherty provided leadership and artistic vision, defining the interdisciplinary scope and direction of the institution's exhibitions, collections, education, and public programs, and ensuring that they reflected a commitment to artistic experimentation, excellence, and public access. 

 From 2012 to 2015, she served as exhibitions and speaker curator at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, a branch campus of the VCU School of Arts in Richmond, VA. There she organized major exhibitions of international contemporary art and design.

 From 2005 to 2008, Doherty worked as the inaugural director of Lismore Castle Arts, one of Ireland's leading contemporary art galleries. She taught art history, design history, and museum and gallery studies at Ireland's Waterford Institute of Technology from 2008 to 2010 and has regularly guest lectured at other institutions internationally. During her tenure in Ireland, Doherty also directed the interdisciplinary arts and cultural initiative Artswave, a flagship European Union arts and culture project, and acted as visual arts coordinator for Garter Lane Arts Centre.

 Doherty was born on South Uist, a small island in the Outer Hebrides in Northwest Scotland. She holds master's degrees in art history from the University of Edinburgh and in museum and gallery studies from the University of St. Andrews, both in Scotland.