Feb 27th ~ Mar 2nd
Mon – Garryhill
De Certeau text @ Elysium tower. Part III. Spatial Practices. Chapter VII. Walking in the City.
Elysium Tower: My first impressions of the environs are of a highly manufactured space, almost like a movie set for a sci-fi film, Logan’s Run springs to mind. Mischievous thoughts emerge as I imagine an ebullient and gregarious working class extended family, winning the lottery and buying up a clutch of adjoining apartments. I picture them spilling out onto this manicured garden during good weather and family occasions, claiming the common space for their revelries while the Yuppies cast a cold disapproving eye on their fun.
The essay is carefully poised between poetry and semiotics. It begins with looking down on the city of New York from the top of the World Trade Centre, and enjoying the pleasures of seeing the city laid out below. But De Certeau prefers, as his title suggests, walking in the city instead of viewing it. Pedestrians of a city create it through their walking about, this is the city’s “own rhetoric”, giving new meanings to its streets and places beyond what was planned for them. Our discussion got off to a good start with Anne’s correlation of the text with aboriginal Australian’s songlines or dreaming tracks. A couple of people mentioned the stop start nature of the writing as it varied from dense and difficult to flowing and poetic. Breda made an observation that the female pedestrian has a completely different relationship with a city that resonated with our mostly female class and to my shame, I didn’t consider.
After lunch I joined the first years on their tour of the National Sculpture Factory, I was looking for an excuse to visit so I jumped at the chance. The facilities and the space is impressive and Dobz (David) O’Brien is a great host. After our tour and a chat about the steel casting workshop we go up to the suspended office space for a talk about how emerging artists could connect or interact with the Factory. I hung back to ask about picking the brains of the girl working on bronzes. I wanted to get some pointers about Bronze TIG welding but she had gone by the time we were finished. The temperature has dropped and the flurries have started. I had planned to stay in Cork on Wednesday but the impending weather alert doesn’t bode well for our planned trip to the Sirius Centre.
Got word that the Cobh trip is off so I planned to leave early only to get stuck behind a van at the very end of the Bandon Road, he was to scared to drive over the cobbles with his well laden van, I eventually got going after an hour delay and drove home through on-off snow flurries. Lucy Emailed us an essay by curator Helen Molesworth from her exhibition ‘Work Ethic’ and threatened us with even more reading! A chapter from her current tome; Boris Groys ‘In the Flow’.
The snow started in earnest on Thursday night after a couple of days of light falls. Tara was working in the Hospital and didn’t want to risk getting snowed in. My neighbour Brendan had chains for his car so he volunteered to collect her. I thought Tara’s car battery would be dead from the cold but it started OK. I reckon we got home just in time because the roads were just beginning to drift up. The next morning everywhere was impassable and stayed that way until a local farmer Ken Ellard cleared the roads with a JCB on Sunday afternoon