The Artist-led Archive

[1970 – The Present Day]:

Sustainable Activism and the Embrace of Flux.

The Artist-Led Archive — an artist-led initiative that began in 2006 — is home to materials relating to over 120 artist-led organisations, groups and collectives working in Ireland (North and South) from the 1970s to the present day, a period marking significant economic, social and political changes in Ireland.

The Artist-led Archive – Sustainable Activism and the Embrace of Flux will become a publication published by Durty Books Publishing House in 2024, supported by the Arts Council of Ireland, Visual Arts Project Award 2021.

Currently housed within the Special Collections of the National Visual Arts Library Dublin (NIVAL), the Artist-Led Archive has been exhibited in the Irish Museum of Modern Art (2015), the Limerick City Gallery (2016), the Lab Dublin (2009), Catalyst Arts (2008) and Galway Arts Centre (2007), as well as featuring in many publications, talks and discussions internationally about artist-led culture.

The Artist-led Archive – Sustainable Activism and the Embrace of Flux will be the first publication to collate key selections of archival materials and documents from each organisation represented in the Artist-Led Archive, bringing them to the fore alongside 12 newly commissioned essays by leading Irish and international artists, curators and researchers including: Dr Dave Beech, Dr CM Lerm Hayes, Dr Eve Olney, Sarah Kelliher, Jason Bowman, Dr Aine Phillips, Dr Gregory Sholette, Eireann and I, Mary Conlon, Daniel Jewsbury, Michelle Browne, Conor McCabe and Livia Paldi, as well as two artists commissions from the Vacuum and Una Walker.

We are now updating the archive, inviting past and present artist-led initiatives in Ireland (North and South) not represented in the archive to submit materials for acquisition within the archive and reproduction within The Artist-led Archive – Sustainable Activism and the Embrace of Flux. This publication will not only create a significant contribution to the understanding of the development of artist-led practice in Ireland, but it will provide a timely chronicle to the artist-led field nationally and internationally.

The submissions are closed now, thanks to everyone who submitted material.

If you have submitted information via our online form, but have not yet sent materials / items to be included, please contact us to organise the inclusion in the physical archive.