15‘Sorry Not Sorry.’ Ella de Burca. 2016



The objective of this seminar is to discuss the crossover of politics and art, to what extent art can really be political and how they work together in forming a social identity. To examine the ethical implications of artistically representing, and reconstructing, social memory/history.

The seminar will take place in St Ita’s Church, Portrane, on Sunday, September 11th, as part of The Bleeding Pig Festival in association with Fingal County Council.
Artists Sarah Browne, Gary Farrelly and Brian Maguire, curators Helen Carey and Aneta Szylak and art writer John Welchman will each present their approach to this topic, culminating in a group discussion at the end of the day.
Portrane was formerly the site of Ireland’s largest psychiatric hospital, St. Ita’s. Founded in 1896, it was the largest ever building contract ever taken in Ireland. In 1961, one in every seventy Irish adults were interned in a psychiatric hospital. One of the dominant questions in this seminar will be the role of art in engaging with past political situations, and fine line the artist treads between illustration and hence validation of the event, or projecting subjective opinions that disagree with history from the safety net of the future.
2016 is the centenary year of the Easter Rising, an event that marked the beginning of the struggle for Irish independence, and there have been a lot of memorial events commemorating this. This seminar will examine the relevancy of this, and also the role of art and politics in shaping how a society remembers past events.
The title “The Fools, The Fools, The Fools,” comes from a speech given by Padraig Pearse at the grave of O Donovan-Rossa in 1915. Many believe his funeral was used as a platform to stir up nationalist sentiments before the Easter Rising happened in 1916. It is a prime example of the past being renegotiated as a call to arms, and this seminar will try to zoom out of the 1916 centenary year to see if, and to what extent our commemoration year has renegotiated a historical event to realign our societal narrative.

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