Suzanne Walsh | BirdBecomeBird
| Performance | 2022 | GUIDES Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar | Filmed by Louis
Haugh | 23 min 7 sec Single Channel video with sound.
For Culture night 2022 the Arts Council will
maintain its proud tradition of showcasing a selection of works recently added
to its extensive Visual Art Collection.
This year we are delighted to once again
welcome audiences to share these works in person at the Arts Council’s
buildings in Dublin as part of Culture night.
Works by many of Irelands most distinguished
and celebrated artists will be shown on the night including recently acquired
pieces by: Helen Blake, Vivienne Dick, Eleanor Duffin, Paul Hallahan, Andreas
Kindler Von Knobloch, Vera Klute, Colm Mac Athlaoich, Leanne McDonagh, Rajinder
Singh, Kathy Tynan, Suzanne Walsh and Marcel Vidal.
The works on show from the Collection
showcase the Arts Councils ongoing commitment to purchasing excellent and
ambitious works of art which reflect the amazing standard of contemporary Irish
visual arts practice and which both engage with and represent Ireland today.
In addition to the artworks on display in
Merrion Square on the night the Arts Council Collection can also be seen
throughout the country as part of ongoing exhibitions and long term display in
public buildings such as hospitals, universities and schools.
For those who won’t be able to visit in
person on the night we are sharing some insight on each of the artist and
artworks which will be on display:
‘Birdbecomebird’ is an audio performative work
that has its origins in the artist’s degree show in 2011, in NCAD. It’s since
evolved into various versions. It’s was recently performed as part of at GUIDES Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar earlier this
summer having previously been realised at IMMA Summer Party , (2017), as well
as at a Post-Opera event in TENT Rotterdam 2019, with support from Culture
Ireland. It has also been performed at the New Lacanian School International
Congress, at Dublin Castle, 2016. Every performance is slightly different, it
both has a compositional structure which includes improvisation.
It is a vocal work that has both compositional
and improvisational elements, and invokes the sounds of birds/the nonhuman. As
it’s an improvisational progression, you can move to different parts of the
video to listen to the progression - it begins in a more conventional singing
cycles, and gradually grows to being discordant/animalistic, and eventually
returns to musicality again.
The performance takes its title and inspiration
from the idea of ‘becoming’ explored by the writers Deleuze and Guattari, and
also from Deleuze's writings on the composer Oliver Messiaen. Messiaen composed
music in relation to birdsong, but avoided making exact copies, as that isn’t
in the spirit of birdsong, which is always evolving. So in this performance the
artist is making an evolution from more ‘conventional’ singing, in loops
electronically, to less ‘human’ sounds that can resemble the birds, especially
the crows and gulls that we find living close to humans.
Image credit: still from video shot by Philemon
Mukarno at 'Post-Opera', Curated by Kris Dittel, TENT Rotterdam. 2019’
Since 1962, the Arts Council has been buying
art from working artists. The Collection that evolved tells the story of modern
and contemporary Irish visual art in a unique and fascinating way. Today the
Collection continues to grow and its almost 1,300 paintings, sculptures and
other works are on display in public spaces all over Ireland for people to
experience and enjoy first hand.
Explore the Collection and more on
our website here.