|Arising out of a think tank conceptualised by the Danish curatorial collective Kuratorisk Aktion for artists and curators in Ireland in 2010–11, Troubling Ireland comprises of a Poster Campaign throughout Dublin city centre and related sites, and an accompanying website.Each poster is an initial response from the think tank participants—Kennedy Browne, Helen Carey, Anthony Haughey, Anna Macleod, Augustine O’Donoghue, Susan Thomson as well as Kuratorisk Aktion—to the concept of Troubling Ireland from their individual artistic and curatorial perspectives.
In 2010, Kuratorisk Aktion was commissioned by the Fire Station Artists’ Studios in Dublin, to frame and convene a think tank for artists and curators in Ireland. Drawing on their expertise and experience in social, political and cultural activism, and in colonialism and postcolonialism, Kuratorisk Aktion conceived the idea of ‘troubling’ Ireland. The aim of the think tank was to provide a critical, aesthetic and discursive platform for socially engaged practitioners in which received notions of Irish identity, history and politics, and Ireland’s relationship to global capitalism, would be probed and unravelled.
Over the course of a year, from September 2010 to May 2011, five meetings were held in places of social and political significance, north and south of the border: Dublin, Manorhamilton (Co. Leitrim), Belfast and Limerick. In each location, different problematics were engaged: British plantation economy and class relations, Ireland’s colonisation and division, the Celtic Tiger boom and bust, and possible paths to a more convivial and equitable future. These meetings comprised presentations, readings, screenings, walks, lectures and discussions. The think tank concluded in summer 2011 with a collective decision to launch a Troubling Ireland Campaign, beginning with a public poster campaign and website in September 2011 and ending with a major exhibition in 2013.
This poster campaign runs from 12–23 September in Dublin city centre and from 12–19 September in Leitrim Sculpture Centre, Manorhamilton. Each poster invites viewers to also partake in the act of ‘troubling.’ The poster campaign is accompanied by this website, which in addition to presenting the ideas behind each poster and their producers, includes a reflection on the think tank process by cultural geographer Bryonie Reid.
To coincide with this poster campaign, the think tank is organising a Public Hearing in Liberty Hall, Dublin on Friday, 16th September 2011, from 2–4:30 pm, where the audience is invited to discuss the think tank’s aims with its participants. Admission is free and all are welcome.
The next step in the campaign takes place in 2013, when participants of the think tank will exhibit work arising from sustained individual engagements with the theme in a major travelling exhibition.
Fire Station Artists’ Studios is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland.