Title: Doh mind de bhoys
Imaginary Archive Galway, 2011
126 Artist Run Gallery & Tulca Festival of the Visual Arts
A response to the following synopsis: Imagine yourself uncovering a cache of materials and documents that record a past whose future never arrived? Imaginary Archive Galway (IAG) is just such a repository: printed materials, objects, and narratives that imagine an alternative history, which nevertheless sheds a surprisingly strong light on concrete realities. New York based artist Gregory Sholette invited participants from Galway, New Zealand, Europe, and the United States to produce this “what if” collection of archival materials addressing topics from forgotten Irish inventors and fantastic nation-branding campaigns, to uncharted offshore islands and mysterious pirate radio broadcasts. On display at 126 Gallery, IAG consists of under-represented, unknown, invisible, or merely hoped-for "historical" materials that point to multiple ways of interpreting the past, the present, and the future.
I developed and preserved a short story of sorts, based on the idea of a fictional Artist collective of Irish and Trinidadian artists. I took the factual event my of my grandfather and great grand uncle, John and Sonny O'Halloran's leaving Ireland for Trinidad. Then create the story that they started an Art collective that ended as a result of national labour riots during 1937. A large group exhibition was organised between the fictional Fyzo Art Collective and a factual Art group called The Society of Trinidad Independents, founded by Amy Leong Pang, the exhibition was to take place in the summer of 1937. During this time there were a number of riots in the Fyzobad region in southern Trinidad called the Butler Riots, taken from the labour movement's leader Tubal Uriah Butler. Due to the violence in the local the show never happened. For the project a fictional postcard was created to initiate the narrative that culminates in the grand exhibition (see poster) that never happened, and close out with a combination of an audio component being a Calypso song from that time period addressing the violence of the riots and a fictional museum card.
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