Ciarán O’Keeffe is a graduate of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, New York and of The Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dun Laoghaire, where he currently lectures in photography and performance.
His live art practice draws on theatre and alternative cabaret, examining ideas of love and impossible optimism. This is voiced through the alter-ego of Smilin’ Kanker, using spoken word and song, placing emphasis on absurdity, comedy and pathos.
Recent performances include the Old Boys School, Smock Alley (Sanatorium); the Back Loft (DLAF); Monster Truck Gallery (Culture Night); the Olympia Theatre (Alternative Miss Ireland); Block T (3.4.12); Pallas Studios (E.S.P. TV); the Drawing Project (Response to I.M.M.A. Collection); the Outhouse Space (An Ordinary Man); the Market Studios (Livestock); Electric Picnic (Thisispopbaby); the Project Arts Centre (Queer Notions); the Twisted Pepper (Sideshow) and Sligo Arts Festival. He has a regular slot at Bunny's Hutch, Pantibar, Dublin. Previous appearances include London (the Tricycle Theatre and National Theatre), New York, Gdansk and Teramo (Italy). Ciarán has also exhibited visual works at I.M.M.A. (also artist’s residency), the Gallery of Photography, Íontas, the R.H.A., Arthouse, Art on the Dart, the Goethe Institute and the Retort Gallery, Amsterdam.
Ciarán won the Alternative Miss Ireland crown in 2009.