Third Bridge (1983/2015)
Andrew Kearney & Deirdre Power
Ormston House is proud to present Third Bridge by Andrew Kearney and Deirdre Power – an archival project stemming from collective student action at Limerick School of Art & Design.
Please join us for the launch of the project with Mike Fitzpatrick (Director, Limerick 2020 European Capital of Culture Bid) on Thursday 20 August at 7pm.
Towards the end of the 1982-3 academic year, first year students at Limerick School of Art & Design were asked to examine the concepts of ‘place’ and ‘space’ through a land art project. Five of the class formed a temporary collective named DUSAA 5, and for two weeks they worked to realise their brief. Against the background of growing public impatience with the drawn-out planning for a new bridge across the Shannon – sometimes referred to as ‘the third bridge’ – to ease congestion on the city’s existing bridges, DUSAA 5 decided to make a modest proposal. Their Third Bridge would facilitate an analysis of several interrelated issues: the linking of diverse and contrasting locales; the crossing of borders; the presence (or absence) of the citizen in the planning process. Thus, in some respects, Third Bridge exemplified what Suzanna Lacy would later refer to as ‘new genre’ public art.
Third Bridge was constructed from 180 polystyrene ‘bricks’, strung together, bracelet-like, by two 185 meter-long nylon ropes. The upper surface of each brick was coloured yellow, to evoke the Yellow Brick Road that took the young Dorothy Gale to the Emerald City, home of the wonderful wizard, in the 1938 film, The Wizard of Oz. For others, it evoked Robert Smithson’s 1970 work, Spiral Jetty, at Great Salt Lake, Utah.
Early on the morning of 10 June, DUSAA 5, their teachers, and helpers made their way from the art school to Arthur’s Quay. From there, Third Bridge was slowly lowered from a boat rowed across the river. The ropes were then anchored firmly on either bank. Soon after, a resident of Clancy’s Strand, angry at the disturbance, cut Third Bridge free and it began to float downriver. It was soon retrieved and the damage repaired. Three days later DUSAA 5 gathered again to reposition Third Bridge. This time the knife-wielding resident remained calm but a wind blowing upriver and a strongly ebbing tide combined to de-stabilise it. Just four hours after its successful opening, Third Bridge was hauled ashore. It had served its purpose.
In 2015 Ormston House invited Andrew Kearney and Deirdre Power to revisit the events of June 1983. Much has changed in the intervening thirty years but the recent proposal to re-name the bridge that eventually opened as Shannon Bridge in 1989 (the names of John Fitzgerald Kennedy and J.P. McManus have both been floated), and the proposal to construct a new pedestrian bridge from Arthur’s Quay to King John’s Castle as a tourist ‘destination’, continue to raise questions regarding the control of public space and the purposes and benefits of such projects. This is where the artists position Third Bridge.
The exhibition has three elements. The first is a photographic record of the installation of the original Third Bridge in 1983. The second is an archive of contemporary documents that illustrate the context within which the original project was framed and realised. The third is a site-specific installation at the Sylvester O'Halloran Footbridge, close to the site of the original Third Bridge. Its flowing yellow flags - a dancing curtain within the encaged bridge, a fantastical spectacle reflected on river and cityscape – commemorate the journey of the five students in the summer of 1983.
- John Logan, Limerick, 2015
Third Bridge Publication:
Accompanying the exhibition, the artists have produced an 8-page newspaper publication which includes archival documentation of the project in 1983, a text and timeline by historian John Logan, and related newspaper articles.
Third Bridge Poster:
A limited edition, silkscreen poster by Martin Shannon will be available for sale during the exhibition. Proceeds from sales will go to the making of a documentary film on the life and work of Martin Folan (1953-2014).
On Culture Night, join artists Andrew Kearney and Deirdre Power for the closing of the exhibition and for a walk to the Custom House Marina to be ferried by boatman Pat Lysaght to the site of the 1983 Third Bridge and to view a ‘re-imagined’ Sylvester O’Halloran Bridge. The event is free but advance booking for the boat trip is essential at email@example.com
DUSAA 5 was made up of five students: Deirdre Power, Ursula McMahon, Susan McCarthy, Andrew Kearney & Ann Costello.
Ormston House is run on a voluntary basis by students & recent graduates of Limerick School of Art & Design. The project is kindly supported by The Arts Council of Ireland and Limerick Arts Office. Third Bridge runs until 18 August 2015.
EVA International - Ireland Biennial
Limerick City Gallery of Art, Pery Square / +35361310633 / eva.ie
Apr 16 - Jul 10, 2016
EVA International 2016
Still (the) Barbarians
Curated by Koyo Kouoh
EVA International – Ireland's Biennial of Contemporary Art is pleased to announce that the 37th edition in 2016 will be curated by Koyo Kouoh, independent curator and founding artistic director of RAW Material Company, a centre for art, knowledge and society in Dakar, Senegal.
2016 is a meaningful year for Ireland as it marks the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising that began on 24 April 1916, a moment of great significance in the struggle for liberation from British colonial rule. Responding to the context of the centenary, EVA 2016 will be titled Still (the) Barbarians and will investigate the post-colonial condition of Ireland as a point of departure from where artistic reflections, critical redefinitions and political transformations are articulated.
The biennial programme will address artistic, architectural, literary and critical positions that interpret colonial effects on the psyche, landscape and imagination, and that continue to shape our present condition. Diasporicdispersions followed by invasive disruptions of social, cultural, religious and political orders have long been subject matter for artists, writers, filmmakers, architects, scientists and activists. Coinciding with the centenary of the Easter Rising, Still (the) Barbarians aims to draw a concentric artistic and political cartography, mapping the conflations and confines of the global post-colonial typology with Ireland as its central starting point.
The convecting discourses on racism as a foundational and enduring system for exclusion and exploitation will appear throughout the biennial as the framework on which to build contemporary fictions and future utopias of togetherness. Still (the) Barbarians will further examine the relationships between the various forms of mental, physical and institutional decolonization across the world in comparison to Ireland as the primary testing territory of Western colonization systems before their expansion to the global map. Informed by the longstanding and persistent unease with forms of subjugation, alienation, humiliation and dispossession and their inevitable result in war and terror, the curatorial project wishes to engage with practices displaying aesthetics of subversion, transcendence and reappropriation.
Commenting on her appointment and curatorial approach to Still (the) Barbarians, Koyo Kouoh said: “Ireland, which I consider the first and foremost laboratory of the British colonial enterprise, has always been a fixture in my thinking on the psychological and political effects a system designed to humiliate and alienate can have on peoples' souls. The coincidence of EVA 2016 with the centenary celebrations of the Easter Rising provides a welcome opportunity to engage artists and thinkers in this exciting discussion.”
Artists' projects will be selected through an open call for proposals that launches today. Proposals are invited from individual artists or groups in response to the curatorial project Still (the) Barbarians and the context of the Easter Rising centenary. Proposals can be in any medium and for the presentation of existing works or production of new projects. Selected artists will receive exhibition fees and production budgets as appropriate. The online application process is now open and closes at noon IST on Monday 15 June 2015. Enquiries about the application process or curatorial project can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org before Friday 15 May.
About Koyo Kouoh
Koyo Kouoh is an independent curator, founding artistic director of RAW Material Company, a centre for art, knowledge and society in Dakar and curator of FORUM, the education programme at 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair in London and New York. She served in the curatorial teams for documenta 12 (2007) and 13 (2012), and recent projects include Body Talk: Feminism, Sexuality and the Body in the work of six African women artists, WIELS, Lunds Konsthall, 49N6E FRAC Lorraine (2015–16); Precarious Imaging: Visibility surrounding African Queerness, RAW Material Company (2014). In collaboration with Rasha Salti, Kouoh is currently working on Saving Bruce Lee: African and Arab Cinema in the Era of Soviet Cultural Diplomacy, a three-year research, exhibition and publication project to be held at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow in June 2015 and September 2016. She lives and works in Dakar and Basel.
About EVA International
EVA International is Ireland's Biennial of Contemporary Art. Every two years EVA International works with guest curators to create a 12-week programme of exhibitions and events that engages with the people and city of Limerick, Ireland. Since being founded in 1977 EVA International has been curated by Bassam El Baroni (2014); Annie Fletcher (2012); Elizabeth Hatz (2010); Angelika Nollert & Yilmaz Dziewior (2009); Hou Hanru (2008); Klaus Ottmann (2007); Katerina Gregos (2006); Dan Cameron (2005); Zdenka Badovinac (2004); Virginia Pérez Ratton (2003); Apinan Poshyananda (2002); Salah M. Hassan (2001); Rosa Martínez (2000); Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn (1999); Paul M. O'Reilly (1998); Guy Tortosa (1996); María de Corral (1995); Jan Hoet (1994); Gloria Moure (1993); Lars Nittve (1992); Germano Celant (1991); Saskia Bos (1990); Florent Bex and Alexander Roshin (1988); Ida Panicelli (1987); Nabuo Nakamura (1986); Rudi Fuchs (1985); Peter Fuller (1984); Liesbeth Brandt Corstius (1982); Pierre Restany (1981); Brian O'Doherty (1980); Sandy Nairne (1979); Adrian Hall, Charles Harper, Theo Mcnab, Cóilín Murray (1978); Barrie Cooke, John Kelly, and Brian King (1977).
For further information please see www.eva.ie or contact email@example.com.
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