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Selfies and Others: Psychoanalysis, Digital Empathy, and Irresponsibility

A panel discussion with art critics Michaele Cutaya and James Merrigan, and artist  Joanna Hopkins

1-3pm Saturday 1st September
Free - all welcome

To mark the closing of the exhibition Teeth Stronger Than Diamond at The Courthouse Gallery & Studios, this conversation looks at the relationship between the individual and visual art practices. The panel will consider what tools are needed to navigate the contemporary situation. Notions of artistic responsibility will be reflected upon, exploring a dialogue through a psychoanalytical lens by way of digital culture.



Michaële Cutaya is a writer, researcher and editor on art living in County Galway. She writes essays and reviews for Irish publications in print and online. She co-founded Fugitive Papers [1] with James Merrigan in 2011. She continues a contextual writing and discursive practice in the West of Ireland and has regularly participated in public discussions on art and its broader social and political framework. She has been invited to present ongoing research on writing and publications in art colleges. She is editor at CIRCA Art Magazine.


James Merrigan is an artist and art critic. For the past decade he has promoted and prompted art dialogue and criticism in Ireland as a writer, editor and teacher. In 2010 he developed billionjournal.com, where he found the freedom to experiment with a more playful and polemical art criticism. In 2011 he was awarded the inaugural Critical Writing Award by Visual Artists Ireland and Dublin City Council's The LAB. Recent and ongoing projects include ‘Deep-Seated’ which took as its starting point the psychoanalytic promotion of the ‘talking cure’; and All or Nothing, a film that looks at the nature and nurture of painting. He co-develops exhibitions at Gorey School of Art’s Periphery Space; and will co-curate this year’s Periodical Review at Dublin’s Pallas Projects. James is co-ordinator and lecturer for the MPhil module Psychoanalysis and Art at Trinity College Dublin. He is currently delivering a Critical Writing & Thinking through Art and Literature course at Gorey School of Art which he designed in 2017. iamnotapainter.com

Joanna Hopkins is visual artist working in mixed media including digital technology,
film making, interactive video installation & drawing. She also works site specifically, often with a socially engaged ethos. She has collaborated with a wide range of people including musicians, neuroscientists, small businesses and computer programmers, and creates artworks and video installations that seek to make the audience an active participant in an artwork. Hopkins has made works experimenting with a variety of mixed media, electronics, screens, wiring LEDS & interactive video programmes. She explores psychology, empathy & investigating how the brain works, and the implications of new media in society.

Recent solo exhibitions include Subtext, Custom House Gallery, Mayo (2018) Subtext, Droichead Arts Centre (2017), Polarise, Catalyst Arts Belfast (2013)

Recent group exhibitions include Illusion, Guangzhou, China, 2018, Homelands, La Place Gallery, Barcelona, 2017, Kathleen Lynn, Insider on the Outside, curated by Catherine Marshall, 2016. Recent commissions and residencies include EUCIDA European Digital Artist in Residence, L'Espace Multimedia Gantners, France 2017; Artist in Residence, Tir Saile Sculpture Trail, Mayo County Council, 2017; Bealtine Artist in a Healthcare setting Residency, Dublin 2017. Hopkins holds a MA (First Class) in Social Practice and the Creative Environment, and a BA in Fine Art. www.joannahopkins.com