On Monday November the 14th Beyond Leaving came to life as an installation at the National Photographic Archive, Temple Bar, Dublin. As an exhibition it will remain open seven days a week until March 26, 2017.The show represents the culmination of 6 years work, with this particular component being the result of a two year research process as part of the masters by research programme at IADT Dun Laoghaire.
At the centre of this research process was a desire to find the distance between the expectations and the current realities of a group of people who had taken part in the projects documented in the book On Leaving. The project followed some ten people and talked at length with them over Skype and social media for a prolonged period of time, eventually re-meeting re-photographing and re-interviewing each one in a place chosen by them as being specifically important in their migrant story.
Within the exhibition space their appears fragments of these stories in the form of video conversations, and face to face interviews, text, written notes, and photographs. The viewer is invited, in no particular order, to investigate all of these pieces and to assemble a picture, an impression, of all that is portrayed within the rooms of the exhibition space.
As they move through the space different sounds can be heard raising from a computer monitor, the spill out from five sets of head phones and the street sounds recorded around the world emanating from a set of speakers in the central gallery of the space.The blow of air conditioning and the hum of electrical lights also contribute to the ambiance of the space. In a specially constructed cabinet there are five devices ranging from the mobile phone through to tablet/ iPad, the machines we use everyday to keep in touch with those of our family and friends who no longer live within our community.
On these devices are looped video recordings made over the period of research. Beside them an old white iMac shows a video of some precious places at home O Connell Street, UCD, Blacrock,The Pheonix Park etc. These play off against video made on the road to visit and record the new work shot on the roads of America the U.K., Canada,and on ferries between Ireland and the U.K.
The audio on this mac was recorded in the last phase of the project and as it spills into the space you can hear a number of different opinions on subjects close to the heart of the matter.
Sitting in the space I am impressed at the amount of people who take the above picture on their phones as they pass, I See it as their acknowledgement of the complex mix of forces that effects all in todays increasingly precarious societies. Then the viewer takes the trip up the stairs to see the gallery form a different perspective.
The Show will remain open till the 26 of March and will feature a number of events in the National Libraries seminar room in Kildare street which I will highlight in my next post. The Show also features on the programme of the First Fortnight Festival which on the 11th of January hosts a discussion in the space on Emigration, Return Migration and Mental Health.
I hope all of my readers close to Dublin get in to meet me in the space and have conversations around the work. I am also available to set up appointments with groups to walk through the installation and give my perspective on the creation of this collaborative work.
Thanks to Paul Mc Carthy for photographs taken on the night!
Once more huge thanks to The Library and the NPA for facilitating this work, Ian Monahan for his talent which helped to fabricate and hang the work in an interesting way. Niall Mc Cormack for his seemingly effortless and fluent design work on the exhibition booklet ( which is available free in the space), the clever design carries through from the book On Leaving and on into the space with confidence and clarity of message that for me is so pleasing. Carole, Niamh and Grainne, the three women in my life have also been central to the facilitation of this work playing perhaps an equally important role as my academic supervisors, the incremental encouragement as each new challenge was met. Big thanks also to Justin Carville and Mark Curran for all of their help in framing the research in a way that consolidates academic expectancy with my working practises to make final research piece which inquires and informs.
I reserve the biggest thanks to all of those people who gave me of their time and collaborated with me on this project, Brian, Aoife, Aoife, Graham, Graham, Tom, Nina, Leia, Sarah, and Sean
The book On Leaving continues to be available from the space whilst myself and Carole are present, from the library project and the Gallery of Photography also, and online from on leaving.com
Please note that during the course of the exhibition we are offering free postage worldwide with the coupon code NPA 2016.
Comments are welcome below and it will help the conversation.