Project Arts Centre

Hadley+Maxwell, The Queen still falls to you, 2014.

September 16, 2014

The Queen still falls to you

26 September–11 October 2014

Opening: Thursday 25 September, 5–7pm

Project Arts Centre
39 East Essex Street
Temple Bar
Dublin 2
Hours: Monday–Saturday 11am–8pm
(excluding bank holidays)

gallery [​at​] projectartscentre.ie


As part of Dublin Theatre Festival, Hadley+Maxwell present an echoed tale of imperialism at Project Arts Centre. An immersive sculptural installation, The Queen still falls to you builds on tangible historical memory in an intangible, spectre-ridden environment.

The story of imperialism and the power of public monuments that Hadley+Maxwell’s work bears witness to is nuanced and personal, and by no means conclusive. Developed from a work originally commissioned by the 19th Biennale of Sydney 2014, The Queen still falls to you is an amassed sculptural record of Queen Victoria’s imposing presence. Originally unveiled as an imperial commission for Leinster House, Dublin in 1908, this once-Irish monument to Queen Victoria survived Ireland’s revolutionary period but was finally decommissioned in 1948. At the request of the Lord Mayor of Sydney in 1986, the towering bronze statue travelled to Australia, where it was presented on permanent loan to the city of Sydney, becoming the crowning partner to the newly restored Queen Victoria Building. 

With the dual contexts of theatre and imperial history informing the exhibition at Project Arts Centre, Hadley+Maxwell now return the Queen to Dublin. Entrapped in sheets of black Cinefoil—a material well known to any theatre lighting designer—Queen Victoria’s gestures, power and physical attributes become fragmented and blackened, re-organised into a cacophony of shapes and shadows, and animated through dramatic scene transformations of composed light and audio scores. The reassembled figure occupies the same volume of space as the seated bronze original; her staged pose gesturally indicated in the imprints of her limbs, extremities and accoutrements. Around this ensemble, a cinematic play unfolds in the gallery via three Acts; The Discharge, The Goading Crowd, and The Lamentation

At each juncture, the story of Ireland’s ‘Famine Queen’ is unravelled a notch further, tracing her journey from early origins in Dublin through emigration to Sydney, Australia. The influence of the tools of theatre is abundant in Hadley+Maxwell’s work, using the secondary materials of the theatrical apparatus to stand in for actors and scripts. Presented against the backdrop of Dublin Theatre Festival, The Queen still falls to you theatrically reacquaints Her Majesty with her three stone cherubs, the three bronze angels of Hibernia, and her Irish onlookers.

Curated by Tessa Giblin, with special thanks to the 19th Biennale of Sydney, through whom Hadley+Maxwell first encountered Queen Victoria. Warm thanks also to the Irish Museum of Modern Art, who generously supported this exhibition with an IMMA Production Residency. The artists would also like to gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

Hadley+Maxwell’s installations, performances and writings employ diverse media to rework iconic images and traditional forms as they are expressed in pop-cultural, artistic and political movements. They cut into reified narratives via direct touch, transposition and re-figuration, putting into play the absences cast in relief. Hadley+Maxwell have been collaborating since they met in Vancouver, Canada, in 1997. Public presentations of their work have included solo exhibitions at Artspeak (Vancouver), Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver), Künstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin), Kunstverein Göttingen (Germany), and Smart Project Space (Amsterdam), and group exhibitions at galleries and festivals including the Vancouver Art Gallery, Kunstraum München, the Power Plant (Toronto), the National Gallery of Canada, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, the Seattle Art Museum, La Kunsthalle Mulhouse (France) and Witte de With (Rotterdam). They are represented by Jessica Bradley Gallery, Toronto, and live and work in Berlin.

Project Arts Centre is a multi-disciplinary arts centre in the heart of Dublin. The visual arts programme presents and commissions new exhibitions with leading artists from around the world. Throughout 2014 we present TV Museum: The Mini-Series, a four-part screening and lecture series by Maeve Connolly. Upcoming screenings run 16–20 September and 15–25 October. This will be followed in November with Clerk of Mind, a solo exhibition by Chris EvansHadley+Maxwell‘s The Queen still falls to you celebrates the relationship between Project Arts Centre and Dublin Theatre Festival, and follows the many exhibitions and presentations that have built bridges from theatres to our gallery. Admission to the visual arts at Project Arts Centre is always free.

Project Arts Centre is core funded by the Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon, and Dublin City Council.


Hadley+Maxwell at Project Arts Centre
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September 16, 2014

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