FIONA WHELAN TALKS ABOUT THE ONGOING PROJECT ‘NATURAL HISTORY OF HOPE’ AND EXAMINES SOME OF ITS HISTORICAL ROOTS AND TENSIONS. In a 2012 lecture, Tom Finkerpearl used Monty Python’s popular 1979 satirical film The Life of Brian to illustrate a point about a crisis in the art world.  At an angry confrontation between the People’s Front of Judea, which the character of Brian had joined, and another activist group, the Campaign for a Free Galilee, Brian calls out to suggest that they should in fact be fighting their common enemy: the Romans. Finkerpearl uses this comedy moment to highlight a tendency in the art world to become consumed in ideological
For the September/October issue of the Visual Artists’ News Sheet, I’m focusing on forms of participation and collaboration. This concern stems from a continued insistence in my own practice as a curator in a local authority on interrogating the work of artists working in social, participatory contexts. We are thinking of participation as progressive – as preferable to elitism, exclusion and bureaucracy, for instance – but we need to think of the value of participation as completely dependent upon the value of the project in which one participates. It tells us a lot about how art and artists are being routinely interrogated. And I think this is extremely flawed. In
RHONA BYRNE AND YVONNE McGUINNESS SPEAK ABOUT THEIR COLLABORATIVE PUBLIC ART COMMISSION ‘MOBILE MONUMENTS’. Commissioned by Fingal County Council Arts office for their 1916 Commemorative Public Art Commission, ‘Mobile Monuments’ was produced as part of the 1916 Centenary Programme over a six-month period. The project involved three trikes with mobile sculptures, which turned into performance platforms becoming ‘forms in action’. The budget for the project was €35,000 and our proposal was selected through an open call submission with two rounds.