Anticipated Fictions: Monumental Configurations by Dorothy Hunter.
Preview 6pm, Friday 26th of April 2019. The exhibition will run from the 27th of April to the 12th of May. All welcome. Free Admission.
Anticipated Fictions; Monumental Configurations is based on building and destruction in conflicting ideologies of futures, histories, and their various co-existences. Both installations in the work draw from processes of urban planning and its private/public shaping, digital archiving, and bureaucratic protest in Magherafelt, a small town in Northern Ireland.
When a planning proposal was put forward for a war cenotaph to be erected in the town’s central street by the British Legion, the Republican Graves association submitted a proposal for a statue of Pádraig Pearse on the same site, just a few metres away. Whilst not physically built, these monuments manifested a site of conflict in the online planning portal, where people could submit petitions, objections and endorsements for one or other. These records, kept alongside the artist renderings and specifications of the potential forms, turned the portal into a live and open-access archive, with each file a speculation on structural, historical and representative appropriateness. Whilst submitted over three years ago, both applications remain “under consideration”. Drawing from this digital repository and the aesthetic of public consultation and museum exhibition, this work proposes a third generic monument that could co-exist with one, both, or neither of these potential forms.
The second part of the installation is the film installation Windell. Windell is an architectural façade company that specialises in blast and ballistic-proof fronting for buildings, operating for over thirty years in Magherafelt. Borne out of the domestic terror threat, their manufacturing methods adapted to the changing nature of a more globalised terror and market. This film’s audio is an interview with Ian Henry, the managing director, discussing the issues of marketing with sensitive data and the ethics of protection.
Since this work’s creation, the focus on to economically and politically “handle” Northern Ireland between the British and Irish government has sited its mutually-agreed pluralist existence with its ugly counterpart: truth’s contestable qualities breeds the nostalgia-tinged politics of mass identity and separatist ideals. In this way, monuments and protective architecture become constellation points of immanent futures, worst-case-scenarios, and concentrated self-perception.
This work was funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. The exhibition has been funded by The Arts Council of Ireland.