Project Arts Centre's 'Active Archive' focuses on lesbian, female-identified and feminist activism

Chapter two of Project's Active Archive - QUEER-IN-PROGRESS. TIMELINE , is developed in collaboration with GCN and several communities, activists and cultural practitioners.

Project's Active Archive
Image: Margaret Lonergan/Project Arts Centre/Nat Schastneva.

Between March 6 and 21, the gallery space of Project Arts Centre will host the second chapter of the Active Archive – an extensive research initiative that delves into Project’s 50+ year history, looking at the imagined futures and proposals for transformation recorded in Project Arts Centre’s archives.

The second chapter QUEER-IN-PROGRESS. TIMELINE explores LGBT+ histories and, even more specifically, looks into lesbian, female-identified and feminist activism and practices. With a special focus on the 1980’s and 1990’s and the HIV campaigns the project departs from the ongoing research by Hannah Tiernan (artist, NCAD MFA) on Project’s LGBT+ theatre history with a selection of plays she identified with gay and lesbian issues and her current investigation into the GCN (Gay Community News) archives.

The timeline is identified as a tool for pooling, revisiting and bringing into conversation various points of views, individuals, groups and communities to unpack less visible and often suppressed, overlooked or neglected aspects of complex historical events and challenge simplified media representation. The display is meant to change and expand through collaborative editing during the two weeks and invite the wider public to contribute to the forming timeline and its periodical updates, challenge the power structures of canonised perception and readings and present concerns about visibility, measurement, normalisation, temporality, presence and absence, representation of otherness and desire and difference.

Project's Active Archive

During the two weeks, the public is invited to a conversation with guests who will moderate close-reading of materials relating to LGBT+ history, culture, politics, community relations, and public health. The gallery space will also host workshops and gatherings.

Lívia Páldi, Curator of Visual Arts at Project Arts Centre told GCN: “QUEER-IN-PROGRESS. TIMELINE puts forward the importance of creating and hosting temporal, open and inclusive archives that accommodate changing needs and foster a dialogue about queer archiving and archiving queer lives within institutional practices.

“There is a lot to revisit and unpack also in relation to the current political and social crises and that quite ambitiously include the challenge of hegemonic forms of remembrance, representation and history writing, the changing narratives of queer experience and of women’s presence and agency, feminist lesbian histories, the ways how the ‘personal’ and the ‘political’ interlocks, critical reflection of systems of oppression and the  LGBT+ Intergenerational dialogue just to mention a few.”

Exploring narratives of emerging and changing experience that might manifest through personalised collections of records and community-based archives the project looks into questions of historicising and memorialising and how queering archival practices can help us transform conventional approaches to archiving with a strong critical engagement with many of the issues present including homo/transphobia, HIV, racism and various forms of discrimination and marginalisation.

QUEER-IN-PROGRESS. TIMELINE is developed in collaboration with GCN and several communities, activists and cultural practitioners. For detailed information please visit:

Project’s Active Archive part two QUEER-IN-PROGRESS. TIMELINE runs until March 21 and is developed in the framework of L’Internationale/NCAD.

© 2020 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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