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The Hard Place (For Mairead Farrell)

Bailey Doogan

Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art

This is a monumental elegy for the Irish Republican Army member and long-term prisoner Mairead Farrell, who, along with two unarmed male companions, was shot to death at close range in 1988, in Gibraltar, by the British Security Service. The ghostly text in the upper right—“Your mind is your strongest weapon because they can’t control your mind they can’t get inside and that’s their failure”—was taken from one of Farrell’s last interviews. Doogan’s concentration on the female martyr is in keeping with her long-standing interest in depicting the female body with a clear-eyed realism and care worthy of Renaissance masters such as Albrecht Dürer, evident in the sensuous drapery that shrouds the martyr and the blood that seeps from her ear into the water below.
MEDIUM Charcoal, pastel, aluminum dust and collage on primed paper
DATES 1990
DIMENSIONS Diptych, each: 72 x 50 in. (182.9 x 127 cm) Overall: 72 x 100 in. (182.9 x 254 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Gift of Mary Ann and Martin Baumrind
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Bailey Doogan (American, born 1941). The Hard Place (For Mairead Farrell), 1990. Charcoal, pastel, aluminum dust and collage on primed paper, Diptych, each: 72 x 50 in. (182.9 x 127 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mary Ann and Martin Baumrind, 2006.59a-b. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Photography courtesy of Etherton Gallery, CUR.2006.59a-b.jpg)
IMAGE overall, CUR.2006.59a-b.jpg. Photography courtesy of Etherton Gallery
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