Creating The Common / The Unveiling

Artist Name(s) Clodagh Emoe in collaboration with Residents of Memorial Court, Colin Carters, Seàn Moffatt, Hélène Montague, abgc design, Sean Breithaupt, Yvette Monahan & Thomas McGraw Lewis
Artwork title Creating The Common / The Unveiling
Context/Background In 2009 I was invited to submit a proposal for an artwork for the communal garden for the residents of the Memorial Court Housing Trust. This recently built complex is one of the largest developments undertaken by Dublin City Council for older persons’ housing and a community of over sixty residents currently live there. Rather than proposing a sculptural form for the garden, the project, Creating The Common proposed the collective formulation of an event as a theatrical performance for the site.

This multi-layered project began in December 2009 and over six months participating residents worked in collaboration with creative writer, Colin Carters, and scriptwriter, Sean Moffat, to conceive and develop the event. These workshops were the driving force of the project as they provided the first point of contact for the group to engage in the creative process together. Over the course of the workshops the residents worked with the writers to formulate the initial theme of the performance and the accompanying script. Through this collective process the theatrical performance emerged to parody a failed unveiling of a monumental sculpture for the garden.

Weekly group script readings took place at Inchicore VEC and as the play developed specific roles were designated to residents. Hélène Montague came on board as musical director/director and cast local actors, Killian Sheridan, Diana O’Connor, Niav Cartwright, Jefferson Osorio and Paulie Quinn, heightening the authenticity of this “official unveiling”. This newly formed group, worked intensively on rehearsals in St. Michaels Church in preparation for the event.

The Unveiling
, departed from the traditional structure of theatre. The residents involved in the performance were positioned within the audience and on identified balconies, disrupting the traditional arrangement of actors on the stage. The performing residents were scripted to interject and, in the end, disrupt the proceedings. Through this process the entire audience became integrated in the event. The Unveiling represents the groups’ dedicated work over six months marking the culmination of Creating The Common.

Description

Creating The Common uses the production of an event, as an artistic medium to explore and engage with the notion of community through collective engagement. This multi-layered project began in December 2009. The project was structured through a series of workshops and meetings with the creative writer, Colin Carters, and scriptwriter, Sean Moffat. Other tangential events and activities emerged through the creative process throughout the development of the event – most notably, the outdoor photo-shoot by Sean Breithaupt and Yvette Monahan. The Residents, 2010, is a series of life-sized portraits that portray each residents indivdual role in their community. Residents were encouraged to pose with personal items, such as tools, equipment, costume etc. This series of dynamic images were projected in a screening room designed specifically for the evening of The Unveiling. The images were also used in the credits of the film that documents the event.

The Unveiling represents the groups’ dedicated work over six months marking the culmination of Creating The Common. This theatrical event, parodying the failed unveiling of a monument was realized by actors who had recently graduated from Inchicore College and residents of Memorial Court. The Unveiling, departed from the traditional structure of theatre. Although a stage/platform existed, for the “official proceedings”, all of the residents involved in the performance were positioned within the audience and on identified balconies, disrupting the traditional arrangement of actors on the stage. The stage was designed to work with the existing architecture of Memorial Court, transforming it into a theatre/auditorium; the garden was transformed to become the parterre and the surrounding balconies became 'the gods'. The performing residents were scripted to interject and, in the end, disrupt the proceedings. Through this process the entire audience became integrated in the event.
 
The three temporary structures specifically for The Unveiling; a stage, screening room and viewing shelter, were designed and constructed by Andrew Brady and Gearóid Carvill of abgc design. The screening room was re-installed in IMMA in November 2010 and The Residents, 2010 and the film documenting The Unveiling, 2010 were presented in the main gallery.

The Unveiling was filmed by and produced as a DVD by Thomas McGraw Lewis and Traolach Ó Murchú (GrandBoy). This film was premiered in IMMA,in a public screening facilitated by Lisa Moran, curator of the Education and Community Programme.

A group photograph of the residents of Memorial Court was taken on the evening of The Unveiling to commemorate this event. This photograph, by Sean Breithaupt and Yvette Monahan now hangs in the common room of Memorail Court.

Mediation

Events:
21 June 2010 - The Unveiling; Event in Memorial Court
19 November 2010 - The Unveiling; Screening, IMMA
Nov - Dec 2010 Screening Room designed by abgc design installed in IMMA to screen, The Unveiling and the portrait series The Residents, by Sean Breithaupt and Yvetteon Monahan on exhibition at IMMA

Interview with Create scheduled February /March 2011

Biographies

Clodagh Emoe
Clodagh Emoe is interested in the event as an artistic framework that motivates a particular space of experiential significance through forms of collective gathering. During the last two years her work has taken place within a range of sites—an institutional gallery space, an empty museum, a forest at midnight and a community garden. These projects include the collaborative project, Mystical Anarchism, 2009, with Prof. Simon Critchley, The Long Dark Night, 2010, with Mark Fisher, Edia Connole and Sally O’Reilly, in conjunction with the solo-show Cult of Engagement, Project Arts Centre and Metaphysical Longings II, 2010, a collective psychic sleep session held at dusk in The National Gallery of Ireland. Clodagh holds a MA, Fine Art, Chelsea College and a BA, Fine Art, NCAD. She is currently a PhD researcher GradCAM./DIT. Her practice based research proposes an interpretation of aesthetics that is departs from speculation to that of an active and discursive configuration of art and philosophy.

Colin Cartiers
Born in 1972, Colin Carters is course director of the Creative Writing & Cultural Studies course at Inchicore College, Dublin. He graduated with an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia, Norwich in 2003, and with a BA in Fine Art from The National College of Art and Design, Dublin in 1996.

Sean Moffat
Born in 1959, Sean Moffatt did an Arts Degree at Trinity College Dublin (General Studies 1977 – 1981) before embarking on a career first as an actor/director with Trapdoor Theatre Company. Sean has written extensively for stage/TV/radio and he is a regular contributor to RTE’s Fair City. He was instrumental in founding the The Irish Playwrights’ and Screenwriters’ Guild.

ABGC DESIGN
ABGC Design is based in SouthStudios, in the Black Pitts area of the city. They are Andrew Brady and Gearóid Carvell. Graduating from UCD Architecture in 2003 Andrew Brady has worked in design led award-winning practices in both Australia and Dublin. As well as being a recreational furniture maker, Andrew has professional experience in architectural model making. He formed the partnership with Gearóid in 2009. Having gained a variety of experience in Architecture working in Dublin, Chicago and Sydney Gearóid Carvill, who graduated from UCD in 2000, established private practice in Dublin in 2007. Gearóid is a Registered Architect, a full member of the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (MRIAI) and a qualifed Conservation Architect, Grade III.

Sean Breithaupt and Yvette Monahan
Sean and Yvette are two photographers who work together specialising in Portraiture, Fashion and Still Life. Recent work has included campaigns for Amnesty International and documenting The Festival au Desert in Mali. They are based in the Blackpitts area of Dublin. In 2007 they established South Studios; with Cliona O'Flaherty.

Thomas McGraw Lewis
Thomas McGraw Lewis is a Dublin-based educator, researcher and filmmaker. He is presently project coordinator for Film Focus a joint venture between the Irish Film Institute, Irish Film Board/Bord Scannán na hÉireann and the Arts Council writing educational strategies for the use of film and moving-image media inside and beyond the Irish classroom. He is also pursuing his PhD as the Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media Research Scholar with the DIT School of Media.

Commission Type Local Authority,The Arts Council
Commissioner Name Dublin City Council
Commissioning process Limited competition
Project commission dates December 1, 2009 - November 1, 2010
Partners GradCAM, Graduate School of Creative Arts and Media Inchicore College of Further Education
IMMA, Lisa Moran, Curator of Education and Community Programme
Artform Visual Arts
Art Practice Arts Participation
Funded By Dublin City Council,Other
Percent for art Yes
Budget Range 10000 - 30000 euro
Project commission start date 01/12/2009
Project commission end date 01/11/2010
Location The Community Garden of the Memorial Court Housing Trust.
Screening of film in IMMA, Dublin

County Dublin
Website www.gradcam.ie/unveiling.php
Content contributor(s) Clodagh Emoe
Relationship to project Lead artist 
Associated professionals / Specialists involved

Ruairí Ó Cuív, Dublin City Council Public Art Manager
Colin Carters- Creative writer
Seàn Moffatt – Script writer
Hélène Montague- Director/musical director abgc design – stage and screening room design/construction
Sean Breithaupt and Yvette Monahan Photography – Portrait series and final group photograph to commemorate The Unveiling
Bláthnaid Ní Mhurchú – Props
Antoinette Emoe – Technician
Thomas McGraw Lewis and Traolach Ó Murchú of Grandboy films – Documentation/film production
Cormac Browne – Video
Anis Duran- Film Camera
Alexis Nealon – Sound engineer
Killian Sheridan – Actor
Diana O’Connor - Actor
Niav Cartwright – Actor
Jefferson Osorio – Actor
Paulie Quinn – Actor
Roomthree Design – DVD cover/Invitations
Lisa Moran- Curator Education and Communtiy Programme, IMMA
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