Project Atrium: Amanda Coogan

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renowned Irish performance artist Amanda Coogan, draws inspiration from a variety of sources including art historical references, a poem by Adrienne Rich, and works from MOCA Jacksonville's permanent collection.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.