A single channel video installation, mini-DV colour and sound, transferred to DVD. Duration 22 mins 22 secs looped, March 2008, filmed in Dublin, DIT studio
In January 2008 artist’s Susanne Bosch and Anthony Haughey together
with film maker, Kevin Duffy invited eleven individuals to participate in
the production of a dialogical video. Most of the group had recently
migrated to Ireland (north and south) from countries including, Brazil,
Nigeria, Somalia, Poland and The Czech Republic. The project generated a
series of intersubjective encounters between the participants throughout
the cultural production process and later, between the participants and
audience when the video was presented in various public contexts. The
first stage of this project was to create a dialogue between the
participants. This was achieved by generating a blogsite and inviting each
member of the group to respond to series of questions relating to the
experience of being a newcomer living on the island of Ireland.
The questions and discursive exchanges can be read by visiting the
blogsite. This virtual conversation, an everyday encounter in social
networking sites supported each participant towards generating a
personal narrative which was later used to inform and generate a
“conversation” performed in a communal setting, around a dinner table
where the performance was documented using digital video.
In the completed video, the intersubjective process continues when the
audience engages with the video. Watching the video viewers can observe
and listen to the dinner table conversation. The camera moves continually
around the table. The constant movement creates a spatio-temporal frame
referencing the transient position of the participants as guests in the host
country. The individual dialogues explore the in-between space and
transcultural connections between ‘home’ and the host country. There is
talk of loss, misunderstandings and confusion between cultures, the
reality of everyday lived experience for migrants in their adopted country.
Some of the stories are humorous and some are tragic, describing the will
to survive in the most dangerous and urgent of times. The conversation
recalls Saskia Sassen’s notion of “informal citizenship”, all of the guests
are clearly immersed within the host country with their network of family,
friends and associates. Yet for most they still live in a state of limbo.
‘Home’ has lost its meaning as a fixed and knowable entity.
The audience is also the subject of discussion and therefore implicated
within the conversation, an ‘imagined community’ invited to participate
and reflect upon their own position as host country citizens in relation
to the dreams and anxieties of the migrant dinner table guests. In doing
so the audience is encouraged to move beyond the aesthetic surface of
the video monitor, evoking Derrida’s notion of ‘hospitality’. In order to
be hospitable the receiving community must be altruistic and open to the
impossibility of tout autre - the aporia of ‘hospitality’.
The conversation can be read on the blog:
Public screenings and discussions
2012 Culture and Migration, Goethe institute Dublin, National University of Ireland, Maynooth and University College Dublin
2012 Landschaften, Künstlerhaus S11, Solothurn, Switzerland.
2012 TENSE – 9 Artists in Exhibition, Limerick City Galleryhttp://gallery.limerick.ie/Exhibitions/ExhibitionsArchive/2012Exhibitons/TENSE9ArtistsinExhibition.html
2010 Tulca, Festival of Visual Art, Galway
2010 Outdoor film screening Belfast
2009 Progress II, video installation, part of ISEA 09, Belfast, N. Ireland.
2008 Progress II, Part of 2MOVE: Ireland, Solstice Arts Centre, Navan, Co
2008 Progress II