Who can forget the impression of seeing the landscaped metropolis of Ridley Scott’s Bladerunner for the first time? The densified, dystopian future complete with building-sized video screens mounted on tower blocks or on floating airships, selling us Pan Am or Coca Cola or trips to the Outer-worlds.
Those screens may have represented the dystopic overload of viral advertising, saturating all our futures, but to a teenage boy from the market town of Omagh, they were a defining idea of the architecture of the future that I wanted.
You are In Nenagh. And It’s 2017. And its night-time.
You are dandering down the street, maybe on your way back from seeing Bladerunner 2049 at the Ormond Cineplex, in Summerhill and
Switch. : Change the position, direction, or focus
You pause. Hijacked.
Switch : An act of changing to or adopting one thing in place of another
Vacant premises have been swopped for mini-cinemas. Again. Your town is once again animated by…
Switch : A device for making and breaking the connection in an electric circuit.
And maybe this time you connect. Either to one of the eight new films, from this years selected artist, Holger Mohaupt or to a half forgotten memory of a previous favourite…
The girl on the swing, the slow motion sack race or that older lady, remember?
Mouthing words we could not hear, words that could have enlivened, inspired, empowered us, but we were not listening hard enough, we were disconnected from Iris, as we are from each other, and from ourselves.
That work was perfect in its failure.
It connected us to the failure to connect to each other. To speak of the things that need to be heard.
The screen was both a porthole to another world and a barrier, a fourth wall, a metaphor for all our connections and disconnections. A screen of rolled buttermilk on glass, its skin like her skin, blemished, textured, uneven, imperfect: perfect.
Switch: an event where film and video artworks from across the world are back-projected onto the windows of shops and other spaces throughout the town of Nenagh, Ireland
For a fleeting moment these works offer a glimpse of the artists insistence in another way of looking, of looking at looking and pausing to dwell on the detail of things. And that’s a struggle, even in the relatively small and slowed scale of Nenagh, the publicness of such delicate sentiment gets lost in the traffic and distractions of the everyday, every night.
So this year, take the time to pause and reflect on these reflections
For as someone once said all these moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.
Peter McCaughey, Glasgow