Magdalene Laundries or Labour Camps? Ireland’s ‘Rule of Silence’
In this episode ofThe Future State of Ireland podcast series, Miriam Haughton, a graduate researcher in the School of English, Drama and Film at UCD, offers a performance analysis of Laundry (winner of ‘Best Production’, Irish Times Theatre Awards 2012), detailing how the founding principles of national freedom – the Roman Catholic faith and independent governance – ensured only certain individuals and groups were free, while others were hidden, silenced, punished and incarcerated for life. Control of the female body existed at the heart of these national power interests, as did careful management of the family unit proper. Visibility, invisibility, free speech, individual agency and access to political power were all tightly managed privileges in this culture of national, religious and sexual control and overt gender discrimination.
If you wish to discuss this further with Miriam Haughton you can reach her on miriamhaughton[at]hotmail.com.
Dreams of Freedom? Conversations on Aesthetics, Ethics & European Democracies
Stephanie Feeney (podcast recorded Saturday 9th March)
The United States of Europe exhibition has been touring Europe since 2011, debating European citizenship and exploring the ties people have to it. In March of this year the exhibition took up temporary residence at the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork, where a two day event entitled ‘Dreams of Freedom? Conversations on Aesthetics, Ethics & European Democracies’ organised by the National Sculpture Factory accompanied the exhibition. As part of a panel on ‘Propositions for a Future State’ researcher Stephanie Feeney introduces the collaborative research work of The Future State’. In this podcast, recorded at the event, Stephanie explores the visual narrative of the contemporary European resistance movement that is emerging in response to economic and social crises. She contrasts this against the visual narrative of resistance in response to specific and localised Irish crises and suggests that a narrative trap sustains a false assertion of quiescence in Irish society. Shes goes on to introduce the work and plans for The Future State.
A gallery of images to accompany the podcast can be found here.
Dreams of Freedom? Conversations on Aesthetics, Ethics & European Democracies
Anthony Haughey (podcast recorded Saturday 9th March)
The United States of Europe exhibition has been touring Europe since 2011, debating European citizenship and exploring the ties people have to it. In March of this year the exhibition took up temporary residence at the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork, where a two day event entitled ‘Dreams of Freedom? Conversations on Aesthetics, Ethics & European Democracies’ organised by the National Sculpture Factory accompanied the exhibition. As part of a panel on ‘Propositions for a Future State’ artist Anthony Haughey spoke of ‘Contesting Citizenship: Collaboration and Dialogue’. In this podcast, recorded at the event, Anthony explores the precarious position of migrants and the process of negotiating citizenship with reluctant hosts. He asks how, when migrants are stuck between states, can they exert resistance, and be seen beyond accusations of victimhood and passivity. The works discussed in the podcast can be viewed at anthonyhaughey.com.
The Future State of Ireland: Pathological Geographies: The Materiality of the Global Financial Crisis
In this sixth episode ofThe Future State of Ireland series, Emma Cummins, independent writer and researcher and Co-ordinating Editor of City journal, explores the proliferation of empty buildings and unfinished construction projects in Ireland and Spain that have recently been re-categorised as ‘ghost estates’ or ‘ghost towns’. She argues that these ‘ghost estates’ simultaneously reveal the problems of long waves of investment in the built environment and the interior pathology of capitalism. Further she questions the supposedly ghostly nature of these developments whilst suggesting that capitalism’s ‘destructive creativity’ is particularly visible in unfinished estates such as ‘Belmayne’ in Co.Dublin or ‘Ciudad Valdeluz’ in Guadalajara, Spain.
Throughout March, Emma Cummins will be curating The Future State blog around the theme of ghost estates. To know more contact emma.cummins1[at]googlemail.com.
The Future State of Ireland: Troubling Ireland (18 November 2012)
In this fifth episode ofThe Future State of Ireland series, Liz Burns, Arts Programme Manager at the Fire Station Artists’ Studios in Dublin, presents the aims and processes of Troubling Ireland, a Think Tank convened by Danish curatorial collective Kuratorisk Aktion. The Think Tank is a mobile mentoring programme for six Irish artists: Kennedy Browne, Helen Carey, Anthony Haughey, Anna Macleod, Augustine O’Donoghue and Susan Thomson. It seeks to unravel, un-think and trouble given perceptions of Ireland and Irish history. It explores, in various locations of historical importance e.g. Collins Barracks, different thematics such as British plantation economy, class relations, Ireland’s colonization and division and the Celtic Tiger boom and bust, whilst also looking forward to potential future paths.
Troubling Ireland ran a poster campaign in Ireland in 2011 that reflected the Think Tank’s explorations through the various practices of each individual artist. The work of the Think Tank continues and an exhibition is planned for Autumn 2013 in Limerick City Gallery. For more visit www.troublingireland.com.
The Future State of Ireland: Kennedy Browne: Far and Away (17 November 2012)
In this fourth episode ofThe Future State of Ireland series, Irish artists Gareth Kennedy and Sarah Browne discuss the ideas that drive the collaborative art practice known as Kennedy Browne. They explain that their work seeks to investigate two different kinds of distance: distance between fact and fiction and distance between a particular place and a ‘no place’. Geography is therefore an important concern and they describe how they attempt to get inside the geography of contemporary capitalism and all its manifestations, within and outside Ireland. Kennedy Browne‘s work is also conscious of scripted narrative, language and translation and this is clearly evident in both its content and form. A visual presentation accompanies this podcast.
Kennedy Browne is currently exhibiting as part of the United States of Europe touring group exhibition, which will visit Ireland (Cork) in March 2013.
The Future State of Ireland: Fintan O’Toole 17 November 2012
In this third episode of The Future State of Ireland series Fintan O’Toole, one of Ireland’s leading public intellectuals, imagines what future possibilities lay ahead for Ireland. He explores a predicted future that did not come into being, a ‘home rule’ by Germany in the event of its victory in World War I, but asserts that it has in fact now come into being in the form of a ‘fiscal home rule’. He proposes that Ireland is a republic in name only, if at all, because it has failed to live up to the cornerstones of the ideology of republicanism and points out that a declaration of a republic is not enough; one must also live out the conditions. He finishes by offering two alternative future states of Ireland. What will it be? For more read Up the Republic!: Towards a New Ireland.
The Future State of Ireland: Professor Roy Foster 17 November 2012
In this second episode of The Future State of Ireland series, Professor Roy Foster, Carroll Professor of Irish History at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Hertford College, advocates a sense of history for understanding of the post Celtic Tiger crisis and Ireland’s future direction. He encourages us to go ‘back behind hindsight’ in order to dismantle the canonical version of any event including Ireland’s recent history because, he says, ‘what happened is not often as we think it was’. He warns against the assumption of Irish quiescence and cites examples of Ireland’s ease in accepting radical sweeping change compared to, say, Great Britain, asserting that Irish visual arts, drama and history have exactly the potential for radicalism and resistance. This is a thought-provoking lecture by one of Ireland’s greatest ‘insiders-outsiders’, brought to you by The Future State.
The Future State of Ireland: Welcome Address 17 November 2012
In this the first podcast of The Future State of Ireland series, Dr Derval Tubridy, Senior Lecturer in Visual Cultures and in English at Goldsmiths, University of London sets the scene for The Future State of Ireland conference, and explains why we must consider cultural responses in order to gauge the effects of a traumatic transition from Celtic Tiger prosperity to post bail out austerity. She stresses that cultural responses are vital as they allow us “to take the temperature of social opinion; to find out how people are thinking” and cites artists and collectives such as Kennedy Browne, Anthony Haughey and Troubling Ireland. She surveys the current intellectual discourse that surrounds the Irish crisis, referencing the work of many of the keynote speakers including Fintan O’Toole, Professor Roy Foster, Professor Luke Gibbons and Dr Elaine Byrne.