music performance film expo conversations dig deepeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeer
Keira Greene Máthair

film expo

Keira Greene Máthair

audiovisual installation
16 MAY — 25 MAY

70 years after an Irish woman gave birth to an illegitimate child in England, her granddaughter goes in search of the truth, or what remains of it. 

As the daughter of the child who was left in the home, Greene traces her family story along the matrilinear line, and the resulting film enters into the gaps in memory and record. Máthair offers a fragmented and elliptical account of a search for knowledge in the face of institutional oppression and obfuscation; the film resists linear narrative and documentary modes, offering us an intense and revelatory encounter with a shared family trauma.

Scant records and redacted documents describe the negation and erasure of those who passed through the church’s homes for unmarried mothers. The sensory lives of these ungraspable women are embodied in choreographed phrases performed by four dancers, whose costumed movements both gesture towards and subvert the constrictive clothing regulations of Catholic institutions and the forced female labour in the church’s laundries. Glimpses of this performance are threaded between a chaotic collage of archival material and present-day online chat rooms; the only respite is found in the holding space of the landscape and the bodies of water between England and Ireland. The silences of the archive are countered by a dissonant sound score, a pulsing polyphonic composition dense with complex sensory impressions, and a chorus of unvoiced voices compelling us to stay with the problem.  


Keira Greene is an artist working across film, photography, performance and text. Her work is preoccupied with the social and organic life and landscape of specific environments. Her work is produced through a collaborative and conversational practice of looking, writing and forming enduring relationships. Recent works are concerned with ideas of the body and the experience of emotion, in dialogue with an embodied filmmaking practice.