ixia: public art think tank

ixia has taken over the ownership and management of Public Art Online from Arts Council England. The design and content of the website are currently being reviewed.

Bookmark and Share

Invitation to 'Thoughts on The Impossible Conversation'

Saturday, 11th January 2014, 1 – 3pm

Join us at: The Impossible Conversation
Conversation 5: Thoughts on the Impossible Conversation
Shirt Factory, Void, Patrick St, Derry
Saturday, 11th January, 1–3pm.

All welcome. Tea, coffee and cakes provided.

What is a difficult conversation? What is an impossible conversation? Are there limits to what can be said in social and civic spaces? Why is this? When do we feel we can speak and when do we remain silent? Is there even anything left to say? How can we express ourselves and what do we say when faced with dissenting views? Can we respond to one another without relying on common scripts, polemical positions, reactive responses, silence or numbness? What is the place of the personal story and community stories in civic space? Who may speak and how? How can we learn to listen to one another?

‘Thoughts on the Impossible Conversation’ is the last of a series of public conversations exploring questions raised by the exhibition ‘When I Leave These Landings’ by Jonathan Cummins which is currently on exhibition in the Shirt Factory, Patrick Street as part of Void Sites for the 2013 Derry~Londonderry City of Culture. See below for further information on the exhibition.

Contributors will offer a series of interventions consisting of short statements or comments addressing the theme. Attendees are encouraged to contribute by offering a pre-prepared short statement that speaks to the theme. The focus of the event is on listening. Contributors to include Jonathan Cummins, Siun Hanrahan, Brian Maguire, Bernadette Devlin McAliskey, Declan McGonagle and Aislinn O'Donnell (text contributions by Bassam El Baroni, Omar Berrada and Declan Long).

Previous discussions at NCAD Gallery and Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane considered a number of questions including: the difficulty of sustaining encounters and dialogues, in particular when participants hold extreme and/or conflicting points of view; the role of art and public institutions in creating spaces for potentially difficult conversations; and the social challenge of listening to, trying to understand and absolutely perhaps disagreeing with another’s position, yet staying with the conversation. This event creates a space for people to offer their thoughts on the idea or concept of ‘An Impossible Conversation’ or ‘The Impossible Conversation’.

You can download further information on The Impossible Conversation here.

Conversations programme and symposium convened by Dr. Siún Hanrahan (formerly NCAD) and Dr Aislinn O’Donnell, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. Shirt Factory event convened in collaboration with Maoliosa Boyle, Void.

When I Leave These Landings exhibition
Void is collaborating with NCAD Gallery, Dublin, and Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane to exhibit When I Leave These Landings, an exhibition of three film-based installations by Jonathan Cummins. Rooted in a simple act of sustained conversation, these intimate and inter-connecting works trace the impact of deep ideological conviction on self, family and society. Evolving in Portlaoise Prison through an art programme run by the National College of Art and Design (NCAD), the conversation with four anti-agreement political prisoners from Leinster begins in prison with When I Leave These Landings (2004 – 2009). It continues after release in Go Home (2010 – 2013), extending to include the families of the men in Out The Road (2012 – 2013). Developed and progressed in collaboration with the participants over several years, these familiar and simple stories gradually open out to complex and difficult territories such as who can participate in 'conversations' about the past and the future; facilitating encounters of extreme difference in world view; listening; the ethics of representation in cultural practices; citizenship, statehood and responsibility for institutions; and critical reflection in pedagogy.

Exhibition runs until Sunday, January 17th.
Shirt Factory, Patrick Street.
Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 11am – 6pm. Sunday, 1 – 5pm. Admission free.

All Welcome, Admission Free.

Click here for more information on 'The Impossible Conversation'.