Dublin Fringe Festival, Mermaid Arts Centre, Belfast International Arts Festival
Soldier Still is about violence. A new dance theatre work that blends movement, text, music, real stories and real people, creating a harrowing tale of beauty and brutality. A cast of Irish and international dancers and former soldiers collaborate with an exceptional creative team to explore the viciousness, the vulnerability and the trauma of violence. Previous Artists-in-Residence at Tate Britain, award-winning Junk Ensemble have built a reputation in Ireland as dance innovators.
Concept, direction and choreography: Jessica Kennedy, Megan Kennedy in collaboration with the cast. Set Design: Sabine Dargent. Lighting Design: Sarah Jane Shiels. Composition: Denis Clohessy. Costume Design: Sarah Foley. Dramaturgy: Gary Keegan. Performers: Dr Tom Clonan, Geir Hytten, Lucia Kickham, Julie Koenig, Fernando Balsera Pita. Producer: Michelle Cahill. Production Manager: Adrian Mullan. Stage Manager: Barry O’Donovan. Design for Dance Intern: Félicie Barbey. Funded by The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon. A co-production with Mermaid Arts Centre and Project Arts Centre. Supported by Dance Ireland and Dance Base Edinburgh. Junk Ensemble are Project Artists at Project Arts Centre.
As part of this publication to celebrate the 2012 exhibition Panto Collapsar at Project Arts Centre, I was commissioned by Project to conduct an interview with renowned Australian artist Mikala Dwyer. The volume also contains essays on Mikala’s work by Tessa Giblin and Declan Long.
Mikala and I met in January 2015 at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, while Mikala was in residence there. What followed was a nconversation about art and materiality and imperfection and audience – you can read the full interview here.
Panto Collapsar (2010) was one of those really special exhibitions at Project while I was Assistant Producer there. After its premiere, we then toured the show nationally to West Cork Arts Centre, Wexford Arts Centre, Ballina Arts Centre, Riverbank Arts Centre, Droichead Arts Centre and Mermaid County Wicklow Arts Centre.
This slim volume bursts at the seams with this big life.
These past 10 days, I’ve been knee-deep in research for Troika Fiscal Disobedience Consultancy, a new show by Spanish artist Núria Güell which opened in the gallery at Project Arts Centre last night.
Throughout 2016, the centenary of the 1916 Rising, Project are engaging with acts and idea of ‘rebellion’. Núria Güell uses installation, writing, performance and video for political and social activism, believing that art holds the power to rethink ourselves as a society. Preoccupied by the ever widening gap between rich and poor, some of her projects have included publishing a book that explains how to expropriate money from a bank, entering into a marriage of convenience in order to give legal status to an individual, and creating a company in order to hire a construction worker to demolish doors to enable squatting. For this solo exhibition here in Dublin, she has collaborated with Catalan activist Enric Duran to establish an agency that borrows from the tactics of corporate tax liability systems – in order to advise grass roots social projects on how to practice tax avoidance.
The exhibition screens several films (including Katerina Kitidi and Aris Chatzistefanou’s Debtocracy and Ruaridh Arrow’s How to Start a Revolution). The opposite end of the gallery becomes an ‘office’ for the consultancy, a desk inviting visitors to explore the company website, the wall above it brandished with its logo. I worked on a design for the business cards. Both the desk and business card features a bunch of yellow tulips – a nod to the Tulip Mania which swept the Netherlands in the 17th century, considered the first speculative bubble.
To give a social and historical context for the action of the consultancy, I collaborated with Núria and curator Tessa Giblin to research eight cases of fiscal and civil disobedience. The short texts I wrote and designed became the surface of a coffee table in the consultancy’s ‘waiting area’. The cases came from the distant past right up to the present: Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat at the front of the bus; 18 million citizens of the United Kingdom refuse to pay their Poll Tax; Gandhi leads tens of thousands of followers to disregard the British salt monopoly and harvest their own salt; Charles Stewart Parnell encourages struggling tenants to shun their landlords.
From the dumping of tea into the sea by 200 patriots during the Boston Tea Party in 1773 to a group of independent retailers in a small Welsh town going “offshore” in 2015, I found the research fascinating – uncovering and telling the stories of acts of civil disobedience that have denied unjust laws collectively, publicly, peacefully – realising that Núria Güell and Troika Fiscal Disobedience Consultancy is but the latest in a proud and vibrant history.
The exhibition is one of Frieze Magazine‘s Dublin highlights, and continues until 19 March 2016.