Uncertain State

Photography & the crisis in Ireland
  June –
August 2013

David Farrell: Archaeology of the Present, Clare, 2011; © David Farrell

How is photography responding to the crisis? Uncertain State looks at how photographic artists are representing this period of austerity and uncertainty in Ireland. Their work addresses important issues at the heart of where we are now: contested and hidden histories, effects of the global financial crisis and the radically altered social and physical landscapes. The ten artists in Uncertain State go beyond surface readings to reflect the emerging concerns in post-Celtic Tiger Ireland: the treatment of asylum seekers; institutional abuse; sexual abuse; emigration; the legacy of the property crash; identity; disadvantage & marginalisation; and the legacy of conflict. 

  • Asylum Archive documents the housing provision for Asylum Seekers around Ireland in the series Direct Provision Hostels

  • Eoin Ó Conaill’s new work Reprieve surveys green field sites saved from planned development by the property crash

  • Doug DuBois’ compelling body of work My Last Day at Seventeen offers a somewhat fictional documentary account of adolescence in Cobh, Cork; 
  • David Farrell’s An Archaeology of the Present records the topography of post crisis Ireland;

  • Kim Haughton’s sensitive investigation of child abuse – In Plain Sight – presents powerful collaborative portraits of abuse survivors;

  • Paddy Kelly’s photographs of IRA training sites in his series Bogland reflect his attempt to emotionally identify with his father while addressing issues of identity, memory and place

  • Lauren McGookin uses photography to gain an understanding of her own community’s Loyalist culture in her series Tales and Whispers

  • Paul Nulty charts his mother’s experience as a returning emigrant attempting to settle again in the midlands in his series I’m Looking at our Place

  • Pete Smyth revisits his portrait of people in his own community in Tallaght after a period of 21 years in his series A View from the Dearth
  • Una Spain records poignant traces from St. Brigid’s de-commisioned Victorian institution for the mentally ill in Ballinasloe.

Uncertain State is not a definitive survey – the work on show presents a brief insight into the broad range of photographic responses to where we are now in Ireland. It is a keynote exhibition of the PhotoIreland Festival 2013.

This exhibition is presented as part of the Temple Bar Photography Summer School. The issues raised by the exhibition will be reflected in the 2 days of summer school talks. The Temple Bar Photography Summer School is an initiative of: Gallery of Photography, Temple Bar Cultural Trust and Dublin City Council, in partnership with Dublin Institute of Technology Photography Programme and The National Photographic Archive/The National Library of Ireland. 28-30 June 2013. Talks on 28 & 29 June are kindly hosted by Project Arts Centre.

For further information contact: [email protected]

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