No Return: FRONT International: An American City , An American City, Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art

Willie Doherty (Photographer)

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition


No Return, 2017, a single channel video installation was shot on location in Braddock, Pennsylvania and first shown as part of the exhibition so it is, at the Mattress Factory, Pittsburgh. A series of related photographic works enhances and expands the research. The town of Braddock is located in the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. The town's industrial economy began in 1873, when Andrew Carnegie built the Edgar Thomson Steel Works. Braddock became the “cradle of Western Pennsylvania’s steel industry” but like many other steel towns, Braddock’s fortunes changed with the collapse of the steel industry in the United States in the 1980s. As a result of this decline, Braddock has since lost 90% of its population from its peak in the 1920s. The election promise of Donald Trump in 2016 to save the steel industry and coal mines rings hollow in the face of years of decline and underinvestment, and the denial of climate change. Trump’s divisive slogans ‘Make America Great Again’ and ‘Build the Wall’ form part of the context against which the research and production of the work evolved. The research was expanded through 2017 to incorporate a research visit to El Paso and the US-Mexico border, which resulted in a number of new photographic works. These works build upon a body of existing research that investigates the border landscape in Ireland. The overall research extends Doherty’s interest in the relationship between landscape and memory and in working in locations that bear the traces of contested histories and narratives. The research advances the use of video installation and photography as complimentary forms of expression that can integrate formal concerns in imagining and visualizing our shared apprehension about a chaotic present and an uncertain future in a rigorous and considered manner.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationDortmund
Media of outputFilm
Size15 minute video installation
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 14 Jul 2018
Event"An American City" , FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art , Cleveland - RONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art, Cleveland, United States
Duration: 14 Jul 201830 Sept 2018


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