The Future State: Art + the EconomyBy: Stephanie Feeney London
At the end of 2010 Ireland received a bailout from the EU/IMF, cementing a period of Irish economic uncertainty coinciding with a global financial crisis. Once the poster child of globalization and growth Ireland is now an exemplar of austerity, tax rises and public service funding cuts. Allegations of political corruption and widespread cronyism are being made; Irish civil morality is being questioned. Urgent questions are being asked about how it happened, who is accountable and how it can best be managed.
At times like this it is often creative responses that pinpoint crucial questions to ask and generate energy and dialogue where conventional methods fail. Unsurprisingly then, a very exciting, urgent and necessary body of Irish contemporary art is manifesting in response to the collapse of the global financial system and its local implications. If we explore these works we may uncover new ways to think about the crisis and its aftermath in terms of national identity, post colonialism, political and social structures, civil responsibility, social activism, gender and austerity and more.
On 17-18 November 2012 Goldsmiths, University of London, one of the Britain’s top art universities, will be hosting an event called The Future State of Ireland to examine the contribution of contemporary Irish artists, working both at home and overseas, to uncovering important issues in the economic crash. Artists such as Kennedy Browne, Anthony Haughey, the Troubling Ireland think tank and the filmmaking/research collaboration of Treasa O'Brien and Mary Jane O'Leary will present their work alongside eminent keynote speakers such as the Irish historian Professor Roy Foster (Oxford), Assistant Editor of the Irish Times Fintan O’Toole (Princeton).
One of the consequences of the Irish crisis has been a steep rise in emigration which directly affects the British cultural landscape as many Irish emigrants, artists and non-artists, choose to make Britain home. The Future State of Ireland is a timely opportunity for the diaspora voice in Britain to be heard in this discussion, potentially facilitating a fresh perspective.
WHAT YOUR PLEDGE WILL BE USED FOR
The organisers are seeking help with funding to cover the travel and accommodation costs of bringing these five contemporary Irish artists to Goldsmiths, University of London for one weekend to present and discuss their work alongside notable academics, cultural experts, art critics, gallerists and art lovers. Engaging artists in a conversation on the economy gives us a starting point for exploring the angles of this financial crisis that are more difficult to grasp. Your valuable support in making this important event happen is much appreciated.
02-12-2012 01:14 PM
There is visible relief on the faces of the conference organiser in this photo (taken just after the conference ended)!
02-12-2012 01:00 PM
Hello pledgers. In case you weren't able to make the conference, I want to let you know that because of your generous support and belief in the project, The Future State of Ireland conference went off without a hitch and I am delighted to say that it was a complete success. So I'd like to say a huge and heartfelt Thank You from the bottom of my heart. I am amazed by how much was pledged and I can honestly say that this really made an enormous difference. It made up a signficant chunk of what was a very slimline budget and the project would have been in a merry pickle without it. So thank you and Danke Viel Mol (for the Swiss pledgers)!
16-11-2012 09:37 AM
It’s the last few hours of the crowdfund campaign and the conference is around the corner. Some delegates are already beginning to make their way now to London already for the early start tomorrow! Thanks everyone so far for your generosity. It’s been amazing. We’ve had a liitle write up in the Irish Post and are expecting some other journalists along over the weekend to cover the proceedings so we’re hoping for a media frenzy!!
03-11-2012 05:53 PM
Well, I never predicted that the target would be reached so quickly, thanks to the generosity of friends, family and kindred spirits! Your support means that the travel costs and accomodation for the artists is being covered and anything raised in addition will go towards supporting them further. A huge thank you to everyone who has supported so far.
The conference schedule is attached - as you’ll see it’s two jam packed days of talks, presentations and performances. I hope to see you there!
22-10-2012 04:19 PM
And we’re off! Thanks to the first two backers for getting the crowdfund project off the ground.
Anthony Haughey, the artist who’s image is behind The Future State of Ireland poster, has been nominated for the Deutsche Boerse photography prize 2013. That’s one good reason to pledge at least £50 as Anthony will be signing a copy of the conference poster for you!