Gathering for Rehearsing Hospitalities Autumn 2022 - Pixelache x Ormston House

Pixelache x Ormston House


[Presentation, Discussion, Reading, Performance, 180 min]
[Audio with captions streamed online]

6 October
13.30 – 16.30
Studio 1, Theatre Academy of Uniarts Helsinki

Mary Conlon
El Reid-Buckley
William Keohane
Steve Maher
Eoin O’Dowd

Hosted by Mary Conlon and Steve Maher 


After 10 years, two former colleagues deeply involved with artist-led organising – Mary Conlon (Ormston House, Limerick) and Steve Maher (Pixelache, Helsinki) – reconnect for Gathering for Rehearsing Hospitalities. For the preparation of the session, they talk about agency and holding space, the redistribution of resources and responsibility, converging ideas and diverging priorities in the context of finding modes of redistribution that stretch beyond hospitality.

Pixelache and Ormston House have different reasons for existing, one began as a festival 20 years ago and one began as an artist-run space 10 years ago. Both organisations have evolved significantly over that history in relation to organisational frameworks, and in relation to the thematics and motivations for their artistic programmes. However, both share a mutual history of inter-collaboration, open membership, and similar challenges as non-commercial, self-organised, and community-centred.

For the gathering, Steve Maher and Mary Conlon have programmed a public-interfacing event in three parts:

In the first part, Mary Conlon and El Reid-Buckley will host a roundtable on trans positionalities within institutions. This roundtable seeks to underscore the structural and material barriers to finding joy and community while steering through issues of tokenism, assimilation, and normativities. This roundtable hopes to signal pathways towards coalition, liberation, and personal interpretations of happiness.
[duration 55 min]

In the second part, William Keohane will read Boxing Day, a 52-poem sequence, one poem for each week of the year. Each offers a fragmentary glimpse into the experience of gender transition. Taken together, the 52 poems present a narrative account of a year of change, apprehension, and grief. This event will question the relationship between reader and audience, the agency of autobiographical writing, and the interpersonal scrutiny when existing in the world as a trans person.
[duration 60 min]

In the third part, Eoin O’Dowd and Steve Maher will share a collaborative dialogical project The Trouble with Doing a Lot with Very Little utilising the structure of an Irish Traditional Session (Sesh) as an experimental tool to discuss redistribution through the oral histories of cultural practice and production, exploring the possibilities for alternative models openly within the free flow of anecdote, critique, folk music, storytelling and song.
[duration 55 min]


Event Schedule

13.30 Introduction by Mary Conlon and Steve Maher 

13.40 Discussion hosted by Mary Conlon and El Reid-Buckley

14.25 Break 

14.30 Reading: William Keohane, Boxing Day

15.30 Break 

15.35 Performance: Steve Maher and Eoin O’Dowd, The Trouble with Doing a lot with Very Little