'The Light Beautiful', The Wilde Days in Paris Conference with Société Oscar Wilde, THE OSCHOLARS and Musee des Lettres et Manuscrits at the Sorbonne and Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk


The Light Beautiful, invited conference speaker for The Wilde Days in Paris Conference, in association with the International Group Exhibiton Wilde Art. The Light Beautiful (I): 21 Westland Row, Dublin, 2014. The Light Beautiful (II): 13 Rue Des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 2014. Commissioned by Curator Christa-Maria Lerm Hayes to create new photographic work for international group exhibition ‘Wilde Art’, Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris, 16 May – 26 June 2014. This multi-disciplinary exhibition includes work by: Neil Bartlett, Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Patrick Chambon, Ailbhe Greaney, Maggi Hambling, Seamus Harahan, McDermott & McGough, Brian O’Doherty, Hugh O’Donnell, Yinka Shonibare, Mark Wallinger, Ines et Eyal Weizman. Imagined by CCI in collaboration with Société Oscar Wilde and THE OSCHOLARS, this exhibition is curated by Christa-Maria Lerm Hayes in conjunction with the ‘Wilde Days in Paris’ conference/festival celebrating Wilde’s 160th birthday at the CCI, 6-14 June 2014. The enquiry was further developed when I was invited to speak at the Academic Conference ‘Wilde Days in Paris’, delivering a paper in relation to the ‘The House Beautiful’, as it underpins the photographic work ‘The Light Beautiful’. Both ‘The Light Beautiful’, and its accompanying academic paper of the same name, examine the aesthetic theories towards social change put forward in Oscar Wilde’s American lecture ‘The House Beautiful’ and ‘The Decoration of Houses’, as this relates to the way in which Oscar Wilde lived and died. Oscar Wilde’s lecture ‘The House Beautiful’ was delivered for the first time on 11th March 1882, in Chicago and its original title was ‘Interior and Exterior House Decoration’. This title was later changed to ‘The House Beautiful’ in California and it was used to advocate the Aesthetic movement during his ten-month tour of the United States and Canada in 1882. The photographic Dyptich, ‘The Light Beautiful’ attempts to bring the outside inside, to make exterior the interior, and it reflects upon the feeling Wilde had for light, communicated to us via Kevin O’Brien’s ‘The House Beautiful: A Reconstruction of Oscar Wilde’s American Lecture’. Wilde’s ‘The Decay of Lying’ and ‘The Ballad of Reading Gaol’, also serve to underpin the concepts embodied by ‘The Light Beautiful’. “Ailbhe Greaney, photographed the room of Wilde’s birth in Dublin. A window shaped photograph, it will – during the run of this exhibition – be joined by the second piece of the diptych, this time showing where Wilde died, L’Hotel in Paris (with or without wallpaper). The implication is also that Wilde’s death has not yet occurred; at the beginning of the exhibition, Wilde is still alive” (Lerm Hayes, 2014
Period11 Jun 201414 Jun 2014
Event titleThe Wilde Days in Paris Conference with Societe Oscar Wilde, The OScholars and Musee des Lettres et Manuscrits at the Sorbonne and Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris
Event typeConference
LocationParis, FranceShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


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