The Workhouse Test was a year-long research enquiry, facilitating a series of experiments and exchanges based around contemporary art practice. Occupying a large project space in rural Ireland, The Workhouse Test was housed within the grounds of The Workhouse, Prologue, Callan, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland.
A former famine workhouse, the building had many uses in it’s lifetime. In an age of internet accessibility we endeavoured to use this notion of transience (and connectivity) as a model for our activities there, whilst addressing the significance of location in sustaining practice and in the dissemination of work.
In questioning what it means to live in a non-urban location we were responding to
- a heavy reliance on internet connectivity
- limited potential for exchange/peer critique with audiences and other practitioners
- an unlimited use of free and unique space to work from
Through our investigations, we staged encounters with visiting and local participants, using the space for both physical and web-based interaction, intervention and invention.
The founders/facilitators of The Workhouse Test were:
Etaoin Holahan (curator), Bridget O’Gorman (artist) and Kate Strain (curator)
THE PROJECT SPACE:
Erected in 1840, the Workhouse complex has housed (among other things) – a 69-bed fever hospital, ‘idiot cells’, stables, a wash-house, a bake-house as well as a knitwear factory.
The Workhouse Test Project Space contains lime render walls and temporary flooring. It is situated underneath the former boy’s dormitory.
ARTISTS WE HAVE WORKED WITH: