Functioning Forms Ireland

Artist Name(s) Vladimir Arkhipov
Artwork title Functioning Forms Ireland
Context/Background The rural is a contested zone in which a complex matrix of perspectives is at work. Socio-economic change, climate change and ecological realities demand a radical re-thinking of the rural so that a new discourse can be developed by cultural practitioners and grassroots participants in the rural dynamic.   

Rural Vernacular is a project initiated by the Arts Office of Clare County Council and curated by Fiona Woods. It set out to foster a new type of engagement between Public Art and rural contexts. A number of artists were invited to conduct research in rural Co. Clare. Vladimir Arkhipov, a Russian artist, was one of these artists and he worked with local artist Pat McInerney in East Clare.

Relating to the complex, rural context was central to the project; public art was understood as both a both a process of research and a mode of dialoguing between artists, rural communities and the wider cultural discourse. The project proposed the development of a form of public art which would not impose the values of the dominant cultural discourse on rural communities, but seeks to engage with rural issues and vernacular rural culture. Selected artists were asked to consider rural knowledge and rural culture, and to engage with rural communities as part of their research. 


Vladimir Arkhipov's project Functioning Forms Ireland highlights a phenomenon in which economic transactions are almost entirely absent. Arkhipov has a single project that he carries out all over the world, under the umbrella title of Museum of the Handmade Object. His 'Post-Folk Archive' is composed of hand-made objects that individuals have fashioned for their own use. See

Farmers are, by necessity, inventors and tool-makers, responding to the constantly changing needs of the cultivation process. Arkhipov's collection shows us that this is a human trait found in many places; these objects have an ingenuity but also a frailty in the face of rampant consumerism.


The project is featured on Arkhipov's 'Post Folk Archive' project website:

A catalogue was produced for the project titled Vladimir Arkhipov: Functioning Forms Ireland, 2006

The project was featured in a publication produced by the County Arts Office that documented and extended the researches of their Ground Up programme in 2008, titled Ground Up; Reconsidering Contemporary Art Practice in the Rural Context, ed. Fiona Woods.

Information on the project was featured on the County Clare Arts Service website.

The project featured in Shifting Ground symposium, a major conference and art symposium in Ennis which focused on the subject of contemporary art prac rural contexts


Vladimir Arkhipov was born in Ryazan, Russia in 1967. He is a self-taught artist who trained in technical and medical fields and worked as an engineer, a doctor and in the construction business before he began exhibiting as a visual artist in 1990. Since then he has held solo shows and participated in numerous group exhibitions in Russia, the Czech Republic, the UK, Belgium, Germany, Lithuania and Australia. He is currently based in Moscow.

Commission Type Local Authority
Commissioner Name Clare County Council
Commissioning process A curated process (part of the Ground Up series)
Project commission dates May 31, 2006 - September 30, 2006
Public Presentation dates November 1, 2006 - November 1, 2006
Artform Visual Arts
Funded By Clare County Council
Budget Range 0 - 10000 euro
Project commission start date 31/05/2006
Project commission end date 30/09/2006
Location Burren College of Art
County Clare
Town Ballyvaughan
Street Address Newtown Castle
Content contributor(s) Siobhán Mulcahy
Relationship to project County Arts Officer – Project Director
Public engagement

Over 50 people from the east Clare area participated in the project with 25 items by local people exhibited there.

Associated professionals / Specialists involved

Pat McInerney – artist
Andrei Tsvetkov – translator
Fergus Tighe - filming



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