Léann Herlihy is a live action artist based in Dublin.
Their concerns are their practice, as it is what they are concerned with that seeps into their body of work; whereon ‘body of work’ draws on the ephemeral experience of the body. Perhaps that’s their biggest apprehension right now. As a performance artist, should their body be the one taking up room in a society which is depriving marginalised communities of space? How do they then make work which collectively holds space for those who have been deprived of it? As a white queer individual, they are faced with the reality of navigating their practice while inclusively amplifying the voices of those who have been peripheral.
In Be Oakley’s zine, Mother Nature is a Lesbian, the artist handwrites a note across a two-page spread:
OCCUPYING SPACE AS A RADICAL QUEER GESTURE
It is thus through the process of inhabitancy that the possibility of resistance becomes an actuality. As a queer individual who actively destabilises gendered, raced, classed and sexualised dichotomies in an overtly heteronormative society, it is an understatement to say that their practice is merely influenced by their concerns. In fact, can either be separated if one wishes to move forward? Yet that in itself poses a redundant notion: moving forward as ‘progress’.
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Recently, Herlihy was awarded a Project Studio at Temple Bar Gallery + Studios shortly after completing a Masters in Gender Studies at University College Dublin. In 2020, they were selected as Artsadmin & Steakhouse Live’s artist-in-residence for their durational performance event Slow Sunday in Toynbee Studios, LDN. Solo shows include STUNTMAN (2020), ]performance space[, LDN; Trojan Horse (2019), Stroboskop Art Space, PL; the child She didn’t want, but the State did (2018), the Complex, IRE. Recent group shows include Periodic Review #9 (2019), Pallas Projects/Studios, IRE; Foreign Bodies (2019), Zachęta, PL; Biennale Warszawa (2018), PL. Texts on their practice can be found in journals such as Live Art Development Agency, Frieze and Blok Magazine.