Loose Ends is a new commission by the artist Willie Doherty that explores how people, events and places associated with the 1916 Easter Rising are remembered and imagined today. The project explores if a residual response to these events continues to be played out and how the voices and actions of one generation resonate in the unconscious of another.
A new multi-screen video installation and related photographic works have been produced working in locations in Donegal and Dublin that are connected with events leading up to the 1916 Easter Rising and its conclusion.
Gola Island is one of Donegal’s small offshore islands, covering about one square mile. Two fishermen from Gola, Charles Duggan and Patrick McGinley were crewmembers of the yacht Asgard, which on the 26th of July 1914 docked at Howth, Co. Dublin and offloaded a consignment of guns and ammunition that would subsequently be used in the Easter Rising of 1916.
The final days and hours of the Rising unfolded in and around the Moore Street area of Dublin. Escaping from the GPO after it caught fire following a bombardment by British artillery, volunteers made their way to Moore Street and tunneled through the terrace, making number 16 their final headquarters. After realising they could not escape without causing further civilian deaths, Pádraig Pearse issued the order to surrender from 16 Moore Street.
Doherty uses the camera to examine the material evidence of how these places look today, 100 years after the events of 1916. The use of a slow and extended zoom brings the viewer closer to the surface of existing architectural structures and the surrounding urban and rural contexts while a voiceover explores the fraught relationship between fiction and reality.
Loose Ends is commissioned by Donegal County Council / Regional Cultural Centre in partnership with Nerve Centre, Earagail Arts Festival, Kerlin Gallery and Matt’s Gallery. Loose Ends is an ART:2016 Open Call National Project. ART:2016 is the Art Council’s programme as part of Ireland 2016. It will premiere at the Regional Cultural Centre Letterkenny from July 10th to September 24th 2016 as part of the Earagail Arts Festival and will subsequently be shown in Kerlin Gallery Dublin and Matt’s Gallery London.
Derry/Donegal artist Willie Doherty has exhibited in many of the world’s leading museums including SMK Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, Dallas Museum of Art, Kunstverin in Hamburg, Salzburger Kunstverin, Salzburg, Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade, De Appel, Amsterdam, IMMA, Dublin amongst others, and has work in many public collections. He has been twice nominated for the Turner Prize and participated in major international exhibitions including Documenta, Manifesta and the Venice, São Paulo and Istanbul biennales.
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