“Historical Perspectives”

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The artist devised a site-specific artwork for the Casino environment. The work was based on the notion of perspectives, both in the historical and landscape sense of the word. The work was interactive and required audience participation throughout. Participation occurred mainly on a ‘one-to-one basis’.Members of the public, or the Festival audience, were invited by the artist to participate in the work. Those who participated were given a pair of antique binoculars and asked to look at an object, in the form of an image, set on an old artist’s easel. This image was of an interior room of the Adam Style Casino building into which a Georgian window had been cut. In this way a viewer could look out through the small window while viewing through the binoculars. Once the viewer was in the correct position to see out through this window the artist stood behind the small window holding a black and white print image. This image, one of 50 individual prints, depicted an aspect of Irish history form the 18th. Century. Many of these historic images made reference to the 1798 Rebellion in Ireland. The viewer was then asked to describe the image, while they looked at it through the binoculars and viewing through the small window on the easel. Once the viewer/participant had grasped the nature of the image the artist took another colour photographic image from a black box and stapled it to a wooden post. This colour photographic image was one of 50 different views of the Casino building in its surrounding landscape. (The artist had taken these 50 perspective views of the Casino building during a previous site visit.) The participant was then given the post and attached image and asked to find the location depicted in that specific image. The artist then picked up a ‘sledge hammer’ and carried it along with the historic imaged previously viewed through the small window. The ‘sledge hammer’ shaft had been decorated in bands of coloured ‘tape’ and each face of the hammer had been taped in either black or white tape.Each participant then walked to, and found the specific location depicted in the colour landscape photograph, attached to their post. The artist then placed the historic image face up, on the ground and the point of the post on top of it. The participant was then instructed to hold the post upright and asked which colour they wanted, “back or white?” Depending on their chosen colour this was the face of the hammer used to make contact with the top of the post. The artist then hammered the post into the ground, so as it could remain vertical & unsupported. In most cases the historic image, on the ground, was hammered into the soil and disappeared out of sight.The artist then concluded the interaction making reference to the nature of history and thanked each one for their participation. He then walked back to the location of the easel in front of the Casino entrance to begin again with another participant.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 28 Jul 2015
EventThe Dublin Live Art Festival at the Casino in Marino - The Casino in Marino, Dublin.
Duration: 28 Jul 201528 Jul 2015


  • Site-specifc Performance Art
  • Dublin Live Art Festival 2015
  • Brian Connolly
  • Relational aesthetics
  • Performance Art and Irish history
  • Perspective in performance art
  • 1798 Rebellion and art
  • Casino at Marino
  • Performance Art in relation to historical perspectives.


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