Sadly Enda’s sojourn at the lair has come to an end. I hope those who made it up to see the show enjoyed it. Onto another exhibition opening Thursday the 4th, which is titled Nine and comprises the work of, you guessed it, nine young artists (Anna Donegan, Cainneach Lennon, Catherine O’Brien, Lucy Peters, Ailise O’Neill, Chris Boland, Ceri Garfield, Alan Crowley, Stephan Roche) working in various media fresh out of the Limerick School of Art. The exhibition opens from 6-8 pm and runs until the Sunday 14th. More information on that to come as our website is going live in a few days. I haven’t seen it yet but my friend Sean assures me it’ll be fantastically informative.
On to other news. Yesterday I attended The Long Dark Night at the Project Arts Center, which was a performative lecture featuring Mark Fisher and the inimitable Sally O’ Reilly. Having read Capitalist Realism I was in particular interested in what Fisher would bring to the table. The book is really great, and somewhat depressing as it makes too much sense with regard to the world we now live in. Not that I know any different, being born and living my whole life under the conditions of late capital. What interested me most about the book was Fisher’s discussion around mental health and its growing biologization under such conditions. How a condition of mental disorder becomes attributed to the sole register of it’s biology, genes, hormone imbalance etc. This suggests, obviously, a kind of powerlessness in the behalf of the beholder, but it is certainly a kind of positive powerlessness. The powerlessness inherent in suggesting such a disorder is symptomatic of Capitalism is a different matter entirely, and scrapes against that real which we cannot, or will not, imagine. It certainly makes a lot of sense as an argument, but until we can prove the economic environment enacts biological processes it remains unverifiable. The whole book in itself makes sense, far too much in fact. For anyone who hasn’t read it you should, you can get it online here here
Sally O’ Reilly (info) called too for some kind of collective mobilisation, albeit in a much more experimental manner. That is not to say that Fisher’s is not experimental, if anything his high-low reference points are what make it such a joy to read. Joy is probably the incorrect word….Anyway back to O’ Reilly. Taking the form of The Living Newspaper she projected a new manifestation of such a tool, how could this be initiated as a format for intelligent and often subversive information? I think the key question she wanted to explore through this living newspaper was the problematic dilemma of sustained, focused learning versus knowing a bit about everything; feeding your curiosity. Hedgehog or Fox she termed it. I suppose the Fox is to a certain extent how people working in the art world are expected to be, kind of omnivorous, willing to share their two cents on close to anything. To a degree obviously focus and single-mindedness are sacrificed. I’m not sure what side of the fence I’m on. The idealist in me says maybe we can clone a mutant bastard of the two. O’ Reilly herself was certainly on the side of the Fox, although perhaps not without a kind of wistful sense of missing out. I suppose that’s the way it inevitably pans out, whichever way you posit yourself you’re always going to feel like you’re missing out on something.