Friday, December 9, 2011

This one time I made a video artwork

Frighten the Horses from Aine Macken on Vimeo.

Here's a video I was asked to make for Frighten the Horses. It's a collage of my favourite youtube videos. It was used as a visual on the night and now is on the internet so that you may use it as visuals for your night. I'm sound like that. It's long, but I really enjoyed making it. I went to see Pipilotti Rist yesterday. She does visuals, she likes to put them inside things and make things look like periods, she then tries to make you fall in love with her and her beautiful grey eyes. I didn't fall in love with her. Somebody, very wisely, described her work as lava lamp art. Many have mentioned to me that I should like her, that we would have much in common thematically. Apart from self love and a sense of mischief, I'm not sure what. Video art confuses me. Hers is quite performative. I'm not sure I want to say anything else about it. Is that wrong? This doesn't really make me seem like I'm excited about visuals, does it? Hmmm, bhfuel, up there are my kinda visuals. I especially like the starfish and anything dirty.  Have a lovely visual day with your vision, unless you're blind, but then you have a vision that I can't even understand and I'm doing that tangent thing again where I don't know when to stop typing. Kinda like when somebody swallows their own spit and flummoxes into coughs at the theatre. Mostly gin induced, let's be honest. Hey, drink gin and watch this! Later, naturally, not at 11am you lush! Byeeeeeeee!

Friday, December 2, 2011


WELL. Much news. If you're not my friend on facebook then you'll know nothing! If you are, you won't be reading this anyway as you've already hidden my updates many moons ago. WHO CARES?! Why am I writing? Naturally, it coincides with a hangover and trying to overcome my crippling emotions by doing something 'productive'.

Firstly, I've moved to London to be a human bean! But LADS, it's not going well. My effort to avoid the nepotism of the hills of Ireland has entered into a brief (and when I say brief I mean sitting in a cardboard box for months desperately waiting for my beard to grow so that I can comb it) introduction to the nepotism and difficulty embedded in this London Lady Life. I've made over 50 job applications in arty places, EVEN UNPAID INTERNSHIPS, and nuffing. Not a thing. Zip. London says No. I did get shortlisted for a job in an art supply shop that would mean I would have about €12 a month spending money. Excellent. (NOT EXCELLENT, I'M LYING TO YOU.) And so, as I watch my savings float float away like bubbles containing monetary tears, I've decided to try to independently do something to gather some money, particularly at these opportunistic (To quote Mariah Carey "Festive") times.

And SO, secondly, I've launched a series of digital prints to sell to real human beans at real human prices that they can afford, so that I don't lose all faith in myself and my artistic career. See some of the images I'm making into prints below. They range from A5 to A2 and are priced between €10 and €25.

I also do portraits. Did you know? Is true.... Small ones are €60, biggies are €100.
All information, pricing  and how to order, along with some real human lady paintings can be found on my Business Lady Facebook Page;

Gosh, is this like begging? I've never been vee good at marketing myself. But it's something I really enjoy, and I think I'm good at it, and people seem to like paintings when they buy them from me and so I'm just trying to be industrious and and and STOP JUDGING ME.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

GAZE Film Festival; An uneducated review.

Having traded a painting for free reign upon a film festival; well, not really (I was volunteering as emotional support for the management team, tears fell, upon my inner elbow.) I, however, felt it necessary to gift these management members with paintings due to how much I genuinely got out of the festival.

Firstly, I am as much of a film critic as I am an art one.

I remember strolling around the Southbank Centre with an esteemed postgraduate college buddy, and as we took in the huge painting show unfolding before our captivated eyes, when asked how I was enjoying the show, my response was "s'good." This postgraduate roughly qualified us to become "art critics"... IMAGINE LIBERAL HAND GESTURES AROUND THOSE WORDS.

I WAS COMPELLED TO BLOG, as a few of the films have had a particular affect upon me, akin to mucous caught in my throat reminding me how cool I am when I have had a drunken cigarette. Yes, indeed, an irritating afterthought to being deadly. (p.s; smoking, cool!) And similar to the sometimes unpleasant nature of smoking,( the SCHTINK and the PHLEGM), some films, for me, were a point of endurance. (God, I sound so cool, I might buy some leather trousers now. *Gazes into potential future cool-ity.)

Two of my HUGEST FAVES had to be Tomboy and For 80 Days. They are both completely amaaaaaaaaazing and I urge to watch them IMMEDIATELY!

There are two other films I can't stop thinking about, though, and which I believe deserve an HONOURABLE MENTION, for when I reread this to myself at a later date - (my public readership being pretty much juuuuuuuust meeeeeeee) lucky that as i'm about to throw out some very questionable opinions...which naturally are wrong, as yoooooooooosual.

One being !Women Art Revolution; a film by Lynn Hershman Leeson

I've never had a film rekindle passion and formulate a new vigour outside of my persistent disillusionment and frustration with my own art practice. It was refreshing, and yet strangely familiar. The familiarity came from fluffy flowery things where i was about to use the words 'journey to a feminist awakening' when i stopped typing as i'd realised i'd vomited on myself and on Oprah Winfrey who was permeating my brain THROUGH MY KEYBOARD. Evil Witch.

A brief, and electrifying history of early feminist artistic practice, it shocked me how little I genuinely knew about that subject, and for me, having studied art for such a long time, I felt ashamed and saddened that much of my research had not discovered a huge portion of that history. That alone, makes this film hugely important. And I never think anything is important. which means something. Or something. (SEEEE? Criticism? Noh for me.)

The second one I can't shake was The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye. Which had a profound affect upon me. So much so that I went into a rage having walked out of it. I was angry. Hurt and upset. I felt physically ill. I was actually going to vomit. Everyone else had those "it was brilliant" eyes, and I had that "Oh Jesus my conventional tastes strike again and further alienate me from the cool people" head on me. To me a huge part of it was the wanky shite I've had to endure by having had the misfortune to have to study intelligent things, and listening to people talk in that alienating abstract way about things I couldn't possibly understand. I think I was angry, because the outcome and poignancy of the film had absolutely nothing to do with the film itself. It became a portrait of lost love, of mortality, of mislayed identities, as a direct result of the reality of the subject matter and nothing to do with Genesis, or perhaps more importantly, to do with Lady Jaye. Which I angrily and grumpily doubted was even remotely its intention. Oh I had quite the frustrafrown.

I think I was angry mostly because when Genesis discussed their combined performative act of surgically manipulating each other to become one combined person, I felt that either he/she was being hugely insincere, or that this art project had failed spectacularly. And, if you are to consider my work, I am hugely fond of spectacular failure. Which is confusing. As I was so angry! Have I mentioned anger? ohsure just a foo times!

I think I hated that the film had become about Genesis. Lady Jaye's sudden death during the filming of the documentary transplanted it into something else entirely. It was a film about Genesis. Who had surgically manipulated him/herself to become a failed attempt at Lady Jaye. Mimicking her, badly. I was so profoundly sad about it that I had become angry. It had become for me a devastating portrait of the danger and significance of momentous love affairs. Looking at footage throughout the film, of Genesis' past as a dynamic, hugely attractive industrial punk star, his dynamism had been almost entirely erased, and he had become a physical hybrid of emotional loss. There was a physicality to his/her love and pain that was excruciatingly unavoidable. Naturally, being the selfish dickhead that I am I had made my reaction to this film all about myself, and my own little crushed heart. Thus realising that I am the bigger asshole in all situations.

But it was only then that I realised, having had all of these violent opinions that I don't ordinarily permit myself to have, that maybe, it had been completely incredible, even though it made me want to puke. Good puke? Always end your blog posts on an intelligent note Áine Macken. Sigh. Footnote; *"The end of criticism" - taken from the memoirs of Áine Macken.*

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Frighten the Horses

HEY LOOK! I'm making some vidge yo art! Dig me. I blog, and now create videos. TECHNOLOGICAL PRESENCE BAaaaaaaaaAAABES! Next I'll have an iphone and wear silver (ON MY TEEF BLUD).

I was invited by the people who have organised Frighten the Horses to create a collage of youtubes, with hirarious arty results, yo! *please note i made up the result section of that sentence, and i'm not sure why i'm feeling so gansta on this thursday morning but i'm going to GO WITH IT. If I'm honest, I am more hoping to lean upon the hirarious portion of this invented sentence section, as my 'talent' for video work stems from my 'responding' to a reading on Luce Irigaray during my masters by doing a hula dance with a video camera in my garden. THIS IS GOING TO GO WELL.

I'll be sampling from this video, amongst MANY MANY others...

It's ten beans in, BYOB, eh, MEN ARE PLAYING!!!!!!, aaaaaaand it's not sold out YET so hurry hurry! See you there! We can kiss! On the mouth! With the love saliva! IT IS GOING TO BE WONNNNNNNNDERFULLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My Hoe-pinion is WRONG

Ah yes. Easter break. All is silent in the school for sinners. Leads me to think, as I no longer have to dole out detentions. And I've been thinking quite frequently over the last number of weeks, and in particular over the last weekend about my peers ideas of each other.... in particular the woman kind. You know, the ladies like. I exist in a realm of the world where I'm either consistently attending evenings where queer ladies and gentlemen boogie down with their bad selves, or else i frequent plenty of Burlesque events where both queer and bi and ghey and the heh-ero-sessssuals tend to at-tend in order to watch ladies get near nudey for their queerbigheyheherosessual thrills.

I've been thinking about all the stringent campaigns for equality that I've come across and taken part in, with regard to equal rights for all the sesssuals to love each other in their sessual ways, y'know? I've also been thinking about the contradictions I've then encountered in each of these worlds. Above board, these two worlds possess projections of addressing femininity and sexuality as something to celebrate, something to diversify, never to judge. What I've experienced has been somewhat different, however. Perhaps I expect too much from a country with foundations that are so completely conservative and unlike anything that I would accept in my own little mantra of my way of life, you know, of living and being nice and all that nice things and stuff, you know you know?(i fear i may be a little too ineloquent to take on the complexity of this subject matter, and perhaps should not have broached the subject whatsoever, as generally, i've found, my opinion IS WRONG. i'm ok with that, though.. i think. do you? oh no.)

Aaaaaaaaaaanywhooodle! Sure I'll power on with the opinions and all! Constantly in flux! La la la! (Read as: get out clause introductory portion of the paragraph, (SACH A WIMP!)). Friday evening, I attended a Burlesque event. I've become moderately less fond of Irish Burlesque if I'm perfectly honest. Perhaps, as my own experience of being part of that world, though it may have begun as a foray into projecting my own transformative self acceptance, it strangely led to an exodus in my own moderately successful introductory career (entry level tassle twirler, if you will) as I found performing at these events to be somewhat leery, irrationally competitive and I left with a general air of feeling hugely less confident and somewhat battered.

My personal opinion of the definition of Burlesque, as I have described before on this B to the LOG, (which of course you've been following BBZ!) is that of a subversive, coquetteish, playful method of utilising your own sexuality, taking control of it, and creating something be it beautiful, hilarious, disgusting, even outrageously sexy, but that it is your own, and is therefore empowering. My personal experience of Burlesque in Ireland has been disgustingly, outrageously... disappointing. The air of insecurity so palpable in my little experience in a certain London Burlesque club, is seeped throughout the Dublin Burlesque scene. I'm convinced I'll never be employed by them again, (eh NOT THAT I'D WANT TO REALLY, soz babes, I dumped ya firsty!) particularly after publicly projecting my disdain for how they have behaved in recent months. To say that they have treated me as a lower citizen as I am not a yoga instructor/professionally trained dancer/size eight is a complete truth. To say that I admired them all hugely is also a complete truth. To say that that admiration has dwindled is also, sadly TRUUUUE! Much as I admire what SOME of them do, I do not admire the way that they behaved. To me. And to others that I had the misfortune to publicly witness on Friday evening.

THAT SAID, there are a number of events which I fully support, such as Scarlett Nymphs wonderful work in making Doctor Sketchy's unmissable and the introduction of the heavily queer Black Rabbit Cabaret, and also, naturally, anything Bunny's Hutch does turns into a russian roullette of tentative mystery, being the only open-mic cabaret night I've ever witnessed... my attendance at other burlesque or cabaret events has completely dwindled... Reason being, I'm not sure I want to witness people performing who seem to have an ethic of marginilisation.........WHICH........brings me to my second IRK, of which I've been thinking...

The following article;
is a sneering post which is everything I dislike about the judgemental capacities of queer women against each other. Particularly those who may have been slower to come out, and seeing as their curiousity is welcomed so warmly I can't see why they'd have any difficulty with that! No no. I am aware that bisexuality can be utilised as a marketing tool, that it adds intrigue and salaciousness to an interview, I am also aware that the response to people proposing their thoughts about bisexuality is completely undercut by appalling displays of discrimination such as the above post. Not that she's intentionally being discriminational(IS THAT A WORD?), I mean, it's amusing, as a post... but I feel being amused at things, unless you're laughing at yourself, can be a little naive, particularly when it places itself in the forum of being offensive to someone of a marginilised sexuality. OH I DUNNO. It's just so limiting. So tense. So completely judgemental.

Classification seems so necessary in a still conservative Ireland.... that I think I'm classifying myself as generally irritated by everyone at this point. Much as in my aforementioned quest for equality, I am EQUALLY professing my disdain for those people proclaiming to operate under an alternative form of sexuality, and yet coming across as childish irritants so insecure with their own status that they must belittle others. HOWEVER, perhaps I'm now completely contradicting myself by expressing my irritation at them via the W W W (worldwideweb babes!), perhaps I need too to be accepting of those who feel such an anxiety about their own sexual power that they must behave appallingly. NAH. Think I'll just glare at them in a silent disdainful cowardly way....IT'S MY ULTIMATE WEAPON. Dark. Mystery. Then I'll blog about them. LOOK. I'm so mean. And all because of baby jeeebus being a zombaby jesus and my having time to think. Bet you're sorry now Easter Bunny.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Employed Monkey seeks Creative Respite in Beauty.

I have a job nowadays! Oh my. A vee biz job. So biz I now do things like go to bed at a reasonable hour during the week, my stringent binge drinking aerobics programme has decreased significantly, aaaand I am now in possession of DUCHESS THE BICYCLE as a result... that a swoon I hear? WAS THAT JUST ME? I would happily lick her entire body she's such a ridebox is my Duchess. I do, however, feel a little silly on her sometimes. I fear she's a little TOO COOL for me. Such is life. Aim high and that. To be cool - live cool. La la la! loo! (that's a song I wrote there. to the theme of the fame soundtrack. all while smoking - did you hear smoking is cool? who knew? *sexy cough, followed by sexy spit of phlegm.)

My new job is an exceptionally busy administrational job (BBZ!HIGHFIVES!CU@DUNDRUMTOWNCENTREFORLATTÉS!). Not quite so busy today unfortunately as I HAVE FALLEN INTO A DEATHLY DEPRESSION. Clearly my lack of commitment to my binge drinking aerobical regime now lends itself to HEAVIER, MORE FEARFUL HANGOVERS. Not forgetting that I can now afford to buy double Gins, which is employment's primary downside, IF WE'RE HONEST.

Anyway, the inexplicably broken portion of my little heart which has plaited my intestines into beautiful intricate knots akin to those fetching dreadlocks I used to possess...(*gazes regretfully into misspent youth*)...have abandoned the glamorous world of filing, arranging pens and typing letters in an effort to seek out something beautiful.

Naturally I typed beauty into my gmail, as we all do in our quest for beauty..., by sifting through outrageous gchat conversations with my outrageous gchat friends... This is when I stumbled upon the following quote, which clearly I collected carefully and utilised wisely (siiiiiiiiiiigh, a youth, MISSPENT, dreading locks, typing irresponsibly...well. still do that...) it was untitled, in my drafts... and it is quite beautiful. I did a quick search in my GOOD OL' PAL JStor and discovered that it was from an essay by Alexander Nehamas entitled "The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters" on Francisco Goya's work. And I think it's a pretty accurate explanation of my frame of mind on this MONUMENTAL HORRIFIC AND YET WEIRDLY BEAUTIFUL DAY. (see me at my desk in image below as portrayed by my old buddy Goya.)

"Beauty is to be defended without social utility or moral improvement, without pretending that it is worth loving because in the long run it produces superior citizens, kinder individuals, or more skilled nuerosurgeons. Beauty, instead, makes life better - because it is an emblem of our inability to say in general what makes life better. Some might think of that as a weakness, but it is not. It is the other face of strength, of the capacity to bring new, unexpected, surprising and previously inconceivable goodness - which is not to say moral virtue - to life. Beauty stands and speaks for everything that adds to the complexity, interest, and range of possibilities of human life in ways that couldn't have been imagined before. It is a promise, and for that reason also a danger, and valuable just because of that combination."

Monday, February 28, 2011

Editorial by the Macken Monkey about the Mammy Monkey and all those other spas.

This is a short editorial I wrote for Never Never and Elsewhere Volume II. Available to buy at It's a beautiful collection and I recommend it not only because I helped to make it BUT ALSO as it is just really funderwol and includes one off imagery from each of the artists mentioned below combined with some incredibly talented authors.
I think it's my proudest ever project;


My mother’s wrists have always fascinated me. Ever since I was a girl, watching her fingers caress the edge of a wine glass or the curve of her wrist as she would rest her head upon them regaling guests with tales of her youth in Paris. She’s always been the epitome of glamour to me. She has a way of looking at me with such love that I can smell it in the pots of moisturiser that I pilfer, in the hairspray that crunches upon my head. There’s a visuality to her love for me and my love for her that, being primarily a visual artist, I can only describe obscurely, and clumsily, through paint. The fragility of her health in recent months has made me savour these images, try to express and savour them. Record something. Keep it. Not through photographs, but through the visceral quality of sight, through the intention and emotion that can be manipulated by my hand; I gush.

Approaching Memoirs of Youth, as a publication, I wanted to respond, in kind, to the beautiful
written works within this journal, in my own, that being visual, language. Having read each of the works I chose a series of artists, whom each in their own way, have agreed to create works for the launch of this publication with an exhibition and a series of printed works within the journal itself, thus creating not only a written, but a visual memoir. These will include;

Caroline Campbell and Fionn Kidney, who have been working together as Tu Me Tues since 2009. Their current practice explores the intersections and boundaries between accepted fact and constructed fictions. Old formats are re-imagined; the fictional is inserted into the documentary.

Peter Fingleton who has the ability to capture your best happiest youngest freshest self, a self you never knew existed prior to his creation.

Catherine Harty who's way of seeing the world, dominated by excitement, cinema, and seemingly having knowlegde of everything... (She has been an unpaid educator of mine for some years now)... is something of a marvel. Her visual knowledge and agency results in astonishing, and many times hilarious, but always supremely delicate and touching art works.

I admire Gerry Lee. Not only as a generally splendid human being, but I feel that the intricacies and visual language he possesses are simultaneously delicious and indulgent but also terrifying and threatening. He has a way of frightening me in the most wonderful way.

Kieran McBride who seems to be a collector. He collects images and somehow they manage to resonate a subjective memory from myself. There’s a thought process to his eye that allows for recognition. He seems to be able to recognise the tangeable traces that make images familiar, upsetting, absurd and at times just generally funny.

Katherine Nolan who is known for her captivating performative works. For Memoirs of Youth, she will perform a brand new live piece on the launch night in collaboration with Eleanor Lawler. Katherine has a visual presence to her, a palpable consciousness of the intentionality of that presence, and a gentle yet savage interrogation of the politics and ironies of desire.

Here's some images of Launch Night by The Woman of the Moment herself, my mother, Máire Uí Mhaicín;

Sunday, February 13, 2011


So you know the way I MAKES THE EXHIBITIONS AND ALL? Well people have been asking me THE QUESTIONS... and I'm going into the gallery tomorrow to use my G U N S to get the art upon the wallball...


All the art will be up and Loveleeee by Wednesday the 16th of February, and you may peruse AT WILL. Gurryloo will be doing an art therapy funshop on Wed 5 - 7. The main event will be on Saturday the 19th when there'll be performance art, readings from the journal, and compulsory BOOBIE BUNS. I'm reel nerveballs, but happy and cited and would love you to see all the amazing talent that'll be happening over the week. Especially from me. I'm so talented. Good. To. Be. Me. Onry Messing. I'M A MESS. Still in bed. Should be painting. I DID MAKE A ROAST THOUGH. Slump.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Never Never and Almost there...

Soooooo, fast approaching is my next show. Seeing as I'm sending out the press release to the earth and it's mother I thought it apt to add it to the blogroll FYI (that's short and speedy for ; FOR YOUR INFORMATION... Also attached see a preview of the cover of the publication which will be available for sale at the venue all week. I'm co cited!

Never Never and Elsewhere is an Irish literary journal dedicated to publishing creative autobiographical and memoir writings by lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer and trans writers. The title of Volume II is 'Memoirs of Youth' and includes writings from Senator David Norris, Ailbhe Smyth, Ciarán Rua, Stephen Quinn and Gillian Watt, amongst others.

Working with curator and visual artist Áine Macken, 'Memoirs of Youth' has collected imagery from seven artists. Facilitated by Exchange Dublin, there will be a dedicated location to launch the limited edition publication with exciting new work both being exhibited and within the publication itself.

Artists include Peter Fingleton, Catherine Harty, Gerry Lee, Kieran McBride, Katherine Nolan and TuMeTues, along with a new body of work from Áine Macken's own practice. There will be workshops and events occurring throughout the week including a special workshop from Gerry Lee (a recent graduate with an MA in Art Therapy) on Wednesday at 7pm. The night of Saturday the 19th of February will see Katherine Nolan perfoming a brand new piece along with selected personal readings from the journal from 7pm.

All contributors are responding to the theme of the collection and viewers can expect both written and visual works operating within the complicated sphere of the memoir, the record, and the creative response to one's influence and history.

"All profits from sales of 'Memoirs of Youth' will be donated to BeLongTo. For more information about the launch events, the publication and how to purchase it, visit"

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New Arty Bitznitz

new artypoo by memememememe

Hello Blog!

I know, I've been distant. I recently suspended my Facebook account and have started living a real human lady life. It's very exciting. I eat a lot of Pork. I've also been obsessively painting and am indulging in this new found private life by being somewhat productive. I now read too! Not that it will expand my vocabulary all that much, I suspect when I detail you with my next exhibtion (below) I will use the word interesting at least twelve times. But if Máire Macken is correct... I'm adorably inarticulate, and my Mother loves me for it, and she doesn't lie to me.

This penchant for adorable inarticulation has clearly led to a flattering invitation to design the cover, and curate a show to coincide with the launch of Never Never and Elsewhere Volume II. This will take place in Exchange Dublin from the 14th to the 20th of February. I would love you to come I would. (I am conscious I am really inviting myself here as I doubt anyone else is reading this, but me and me are gonna have a faboo time, might bring the mammy too!).

Never Never and Elsewhere is a beautiful queer publication of short pieces from contributors such as Ailbhe Smyth, Ciarán Rua Ó Néill, Senator David Norris and Gillian Watt amongst others. Having consulted with the editors, I had the opportunity to read all of the pieces before embarking on creating my own response to this publication's theme, that being 'Memoirs of Youth'. The standard of written work is phenomenal, (I GOT EMOTIONAL DOODS, there were TEARBALLS FALLING FROM THE EYEBALLS) and with all proceeds going to BelongTo, I felt that it was important to add a visual dimension, not only from the cover, but from contributing artists that I deemed apt as respondants. I then embarked upon inviting some of the artists I most admire to create work for the show. What has resulted is something I am brimming with delight, anticipation, pride, terror, (ALL THOSE BIG EMOTIVE WORDBALLS) over.

There will be a reading evening from some of the written contributors, along with a live performance from Katherine Nolan on Saturday the 19th of February from 7pm. Sneak peek an image of hers below!! WEEE!

Here's a brief look at some other examples of the imagery to expect! SQWEEEEEEEEEEEEE, excited juice pee pees EVERYWHERE. Have to leave some surprises, though! But other artists include Kieran McBride, Tu Me Tues, Peter Fingleton and a whole new body of work from lil ole Macken.

Gerry Lee

Catherine Harty

If you'd like a proper real human lady invite to the show send me your email address at