Press Release

IMMA presents Take a Breath, a major exhibition that provides an historical, social, political, and personal examination of breathing—why we breathe, how we breathe and what we breathe—exploring themes of decolonisation, environmental racism, indigenous language, the impact of war on the environment and breath as meditation.



International exhibitions

International ongoing exhibitions

Take a Breath !

IMMA, Dublin (Irleland)

14.06.2024 - 17.03.2025




Featuring the work of Marian Abramović, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Mercedes Azpilicueta, Giacomo Balla, Ammar Bouras, Alex Cecchetti, Bruce Conner, Maud Cotter, Forensic Architecture, John Gerard, Sheroanawe Hakihiiw, Maria Hassabi, Susan Hiller, Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński, Waqas Khan, Joseph Kosuth, Clare Langan, Niamh McCann, William McKeown, Ana Mendieta, Khadija Mohammadou Saye, Isabel Nolan, Yuri Pattison, Mark Ruwedel, Patrick Scott, Pamela Singh, JMW Turner and Hajra Waheed. The exhibition also explores breath through movement and sound with performances by Okwui Okpokwasili in collaboration with Peter Born, Alex Cecchetti, Maria Hassabi, Isabel Nolan with Belinda Quirke, and Camille Norment Trio with Crash Ensemble.

Works in the exhibition include Ana Mendieta’s Burial Pyramid (1974), in which the artist addresses her body’s relationship to nature and spirituality by inserting it physically into an environment in which the earth then moves with her, activated by and channelled through her breath. Khadija Saye’s photographic series In this space we breathe (2017-2018) explores how trauma is embodied in the Black experience, while Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński’s film work Respire (2023) addresses the precarity of Black breathing and proposes breath as a form of collective liberation.

Through reference to Susan Hiller’s audio collage The Last Silent Movie (2007), a continuous soundtrack of extinct and endangered languages subtitled on black screens; and Sheroanawe Hakihiiwe’s paintings, which focus on the visual language connected to Amazonian cosmologies, the exhibition explores lost indigenous languages and highlights the loss of a native language in Ireland through the colonial expulsion by the British of Irish Gaelic, which is now spoken by just two percent of the population.

Slow Violence, a term coined by Rob Nixon in his 2011 book Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor, references the harm and damage that plays out over years or decades as a result of environmental degradation, long term pollution and environmental racism. Lawrence Abu Hamdan refers to this idea through his piece Air Conditioning (2022), which tracks the instances of surveillance and violation of Lebanese air space by Israeli aircraft over a 15-year period. Ammar Bouras’ film work 24°3′55″N 5°3′23″E (2012/2017/2022) refers to the Béryl incident, an explosion that occurred on 1 May 1962 while the French carried out underground nuclear tests near In Ekker in the Algerian desert. The work exposes the responsibility of the French and Algerian states for the disaster and highlights the influence of humans on the spaces they denature. Mark Ruwedel’s series of gelatin silver prints, Four Ecologies, documents the degradation of nature in proximity to the city of LA; while Pamela Singh’s series Chipko Tree Huggers of the Himalayas (1994) documents female activism against deforestation in the Himalayas.

The exhibition acknowledges the need for a space for personal reflection and meditation in response to the sometimes overwhelming nature of world events. Through the works of Patrick Scott, William McKeown, Alex Cecchetti, Isabel Nolan and Waqas Khan, the exhibition explores the importance of the awareness of breath in our daily lives through meditation or spiritual exercises.

The exhibition’s film programme includes Bruce Conner’s CROSSROADS (1976), one of most provocative films of the Atomic era which features 37 minutes of extreme slow-motion replays of the 1946 Operation Crossroads Baker underwater nuclear test at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific, and Clare Langan’s The Heart of a Tree (2020), which highlights the importance of trees to the survival of the planet and explores the disconnection between man and nature.

Exhibition 14 June 2024 - 17 March 20245. IMMA — Irish Museum of Modern Art, Kilmainham, Royal Hospital, Military Road – Dublin (Ireland). T +353 1 612 9900. Hours : Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10.00am – 5.30pm, Wednesay 11.30am – 5.30pm, Sunday 12 noon – 5.30pm.





Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński, Respire (Liverpool), 2023. Courtesy of the artist.

Belinda Kazeem-Kamiński, Respire (Liverpool), 2023. Courtesy of the artist. Take a Breath! IMMA, Dublin (Irleland)

© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2024 All Rights Reserved