DATE: 4 November 2016 – 26 January 2017
VENUE: Pearse Museum, St Enda’s Park, Rathfarnham, Co Dublin
‘The Museum of August Destiny’ was a commissioned contemporary art exhibition curated by Dr Emily Mark-FitzGerald (UCD), featuring six artists born or working in Ireland, and exploring the resonance of the Proclamation a century after it was written. It presented a ‘capsule’ museum responding to the final line of the 1916 Proclamation, in which the Irish nation is exhorted to ‘prove itself worth of the august destiny to which it is called.’ Artists Aideen Barry, Mark Clare, Amanda Coogan, Anthony Haughey, Dragana Jurisic and Sarah Pierce were commissioned to create new artworks responding to the six ‘visions’ of Irish destiny set out in the Proclamation: (1) sovereignty and ‘unfettered control of Irish destinies’; (2) religious and civil liberty; (3) equal rights and opportunities for citizens; (4) the pursuit of happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and all of its parts; (5) cherishing the children of the nation; and (6) oblivion of the differences ‘which have divided a minority from the majority in the past’. Housed within museum cases on loan from the Pearse Museum (OPW) at St. Enda’s, Rathfarnham, the six artworks offered individual meditations (utilizing sounds/objects/images) on the realization or retreat from our ‘august destiny’. The exhibition was initially opened and displayed at Lismore Castle Arts (Waterford) from 17 July – 4 Sept; and re-exhibited at the Pearse Museum (OPW), St Enda’s, Rathfarnham from 4 November 2016 – 26 January 2017 with the support of the UCD Decade of Centenaries programme. Other associated events included a curator’s talk and artists’ roundtable.