One of the most interesting projects I have been involved with in 2012 ‘Everything can be done, in principle’ collaboration commissioned by VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art, Carlow Local Authorities Arts Office, and Carlow Arts Festival Éigse 2012
This interactive installation can be found in the wonderful setting of the ground floor galleries at Visual Carlow. Artist Brian Duggan’s has created a structure and setting in which participants, through the act of skating within the exhibition structure, with music and costume, transports you to another time and place.
Back in February Brian Duggan first made contacted with me with his plans to recreate the 19th century mid-western American wooden and canvass barn similar to the one seen in Michael Cimino’s film Heaven’s Gate (1980) Measuring 24 meters in length, 12 metres in width and 7 meters in height, complete with a floor suitable for roller-skating as in the film Heaven’s Gate. Like all project management, success of any project depends on balancing the core project components of scope, cost and time. This is often referred to as the project scope triangle or the project quality triangle. Scope refers the quantity and quality of what needs to be delivered in the project. Cost refers the financial cost of the project (material and resources) and time refers to the amount of time in which the complete project must be delivered.
There are also the technical challenges to be overcome on this project it was constructing such a large structure within a building that would be self-supporting. There were 11 trusses each weighing 180kg measuring 12 metres in length and 3.5 metres in height that needed to be lifted safely into place.
Cimino’s film ‘Heaven’s Gate’ is a film (1980) that broke many rules through Cimino’s often ruthless pursuit of authenticity, to the extent of challenging the powerful studio system. There were many delays and overruns of the budget with the full length version running to almost 3 hours 40minutes, although the general theatrical release was 149 minutes. The all-star cast includes Kris Kristofferson, Christopher Walken, Isabelle Huppert, Jeff Bridges, John Hurt, Sam Waterston, Mickey Rourke, and Willem Dafoe. The film is an epic story of Eastern Europeans immigrants in America who find themselves embroiled in a, violent struggle when a wealthy cattle breeders’ association, headed by Frank Canton (Sam Waterston), hires a mercenary private army of fifty-two cattlemen and hired gunmen to assassinate 125 European immigrants who are labelled as cattle thieves, anarchists, and killers in Johnson Country, Wyoming, in April 1892. Following two decades of dreadful violence it suddenly all ends. Life goes on in America in the form of unchecked capitalism, where greed is good and the God of profit. Though the film was an ultimate failure at the box office, ‘Heaven’s Gate’ did reprieve some credibility following its release on DVD.
One of the hubs in the film is the town’s roller-skating rink, where life almost goes on almost unperturbed l despite the turmoil of that time. It is this aspect of the film that Brian Duggan drew inspiration, he said “Although it may seem unlikely, this is historically accurate. In the film, the rink where everyone be they settlers, ranchers or lawmen – skates in a spirit of playful communion around a centrally positioned stove, is a neutral, social space”. He liked the idea of that social space.
Brian asks the participant to skate—to imagine the happiness of a community of immigrants fraught with difficulties in their new lives, but able to shake off the dirt and corruption in this heavenly place of elegance and exuberance.
Yesterday was my first visited to the recently, opened interactive art installation, VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art, Carlow Local Authorities Arts Office, and Carlow Arts Festival Éigse 2012 deserves full credit for their investment in this project, and to Brian Duggan for his creative vision.
During my visit yesterday there was where people of all ages that were not only enjoying this latest art installation at Visual Carlow, but ‘Everything can be done, in principle’ provides them an opportunity to interact with that art. The exhibition runs until the end of August get along and see it if you are anywhere near Carlow in the coming weeks it will not disappoint you. Hopefully more local authorities and Art Centres will commission more interactive art in the coming years.
Brian Duggan, lives and works in Dublin. Last year he was selected for the Artist Residency Program in the Irish Museum of Modern Art and was commissioned to make new work for the inaugural Dublin Contemporary 2011. In 2012 his work can be seen in a solo exhibition in RuaRed, and group exhibitions in the Lyndecker gallery Spain, National Sculpture Factory Cork, Limerick City Gallery of Art and Braziers Supernormal Oxford UK. His work is in the permanent national collection of the Hugh ane Gallery and the Irish Museum of Modern Art
A co- commissioned artwork by Brian Duggan, curated by Helen Carey who is currently Director / Curator of Limerick City Gallery of Art, Ireland. She curates independent projects concerned with cultural identity, historical events and the public realm. She was previously inaugural Director of the Centre Culturel Irlandais Paris..
“Everything can be done, in principle” will be on display in VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art & The George Bernard Shaw Theatre, Old Dublin Road, Carlow, Ireland.
Opens Saturday 9th June – 26 August 2012.from 11am to 530pm, Tuesday to Saturday, and from 2pm to 5pm on Sundays.