Saturday, April 23, 2022

Residency 3, Day 15: 'People say "go with the flow" but do you know what goes with the flow? Dead fish.' - Roy Keane

Photo John Halpin
Well, formally the third of the four residencies, offered at Uillinn to complete commissions, includes today. I actually left Skibbereen, in the usual style (i.e. somewhat abruptly) yesterday, for the smoke.

Part of the impressively Ali O'Shea-curated, 'Table Games' exhibition of streamed video, experienced with John Halpin yesterday, at the St. Lukes Crypt, brought back a kind-of-disgusting boyhood memory. My friends and I, in Shamrock Lawn were keen on the idea of chewing gum but were not really allowed to have it, due to our being maybe 8, 9, 10 years old. Sometimes we'd detach old discarded (spat-out) gum, found stuck on the footpath, and then take turns at chewing it. I recall the feeling, and the texture, of almost tasteless gum mixed with grit. At first the lump would be cold and hard but then it would soften up in the mouth. Probably, the activity did wonders for our immune systems. What doesn't kill you...

Hung around with a gang of engineers in Cork last night and, amongst other things, discussed under-road-pipes with one who is a sewerage-system specialist. She is doing a bit of research which I am thankful for. Another, an engineer-turned-artist, I have consulted about same, is the phenomenal Amanda Loomes, president of The London Group. So it is all happening these days. You get farmer-artists like Miriam O'Connor too, and perhaps the one-dimensional pictures often given of notable names historically, were never really adequate. Van Gogh would be a blogger if around today undoubtedly, and Duchamp became a chess-master. Similarly, it seems too simplistic to characterise Sophie Calle as a photographer, but that is often done.

I bumped into the brilliant RoadBooks duo, Peter Morgan and Judy Kravis, in the Coal Quay this morning, and had an amusing conversation about their recent artistic venture: 'chance encounters: talking in the park'. The initiative was conducted at Tramore Valley Park in Cork City, which covers an old dump and landfill site. Bizarrely, in order to be accepted by the overall 'Kinship Project' organisers, Peter and Judy were told that they would need to be insured, even though their proposal was only to chat with people in the park. Unsurprisingly the requirement, which cost them €150, became a common subject of the exchanges. The comments listed here, https://www.roadbooks.ie/projects, include:

— We’ve gone very rule-minded.
— Everything’s an algorithm.
— I believe in climate change but Greta Thunberg is going a bit far.
— The past is a jigsaw. All we have is a handful of pieces.

Anyway, thanks to all those at the West Cork Arts Centre and connected with it, who passed through the studio or provided wisdom, in recent weeks, including, Ann, Aoife, Ayelet, Carolin, Claire, Gavin, Grainne, Gráinne, Jackie, Jamie, Joanne, Justine, Kate, Louise, Michael, Michelle, Nikolas, Piotr, Sarah, Sean, Stephen, Sylwia, and Tomasz.

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