Monday, August 31, 2009
Illustrating this on Saturday the performer Mark Carberry presented himself as a sun god in transit. As he stood in the middle of the floor surrounded by nearly 50 people his bronze vinyl leggings and burnished tunic absorbed the summers last rays allmost encouraging him to anoint this temporary space for autumms arrival.
Carberry was working tonight with the composer John Greenwood showcasing two collaborative performance pieces. Here they reconstructed personal fragments and observations distilled from rants, ranting and all sorts of mental exfoliation into a performance workshop using the Spiritstore as a platform. The result is delivered for the space through the combined medium of electro acoustic sound design and body movement.
Lately, memories are being logged and reconstituted in the SpiritStore as both passersby and past patrons drop in to share stories of the Sarsfield Bars past. This week we heard that the space was a hub for (quote) ‘working girls’ in the 1930,s. This information- which if presented in the context of this evening- allows for another addition, one more possible twilight reimaging as the building silently offers past tales to the performer in its center tonight.
Carberry on the floor is now a figure of dull shined twists. We watch and follow his pointing finger. Our attention is drawn to the faded 30s era scraps of paper mummified by the walls plaster. He arches upwards as Greenwood triggers limbering audio shapes from a laptop. The deep green papered roof now appears church high as from the speakers an electronically treated voice talks abstractly of sonourous Sex.
Outlining this theme in movement the duo sought to present –as subject matter- the tension inherrent in the aspects of presentation that occur when you sexually set out your stall. This act is of course not compliant on gender or age and it is a subject as a performer Carberry has creatively visited before.
The words ‘Britney Spears’ is growled from Carberrys mask at one stage as he claws on the carpet towards what appears to be a pair of high heeled shoes deformed by white gaffa tape. (Note. One of the patron saints of music preformance, Kate Bush once laid out a similar agenda in her song ‘Suspended in gaffa’)
An imagined pattern occurs as we absorb the time and place. How much ranting occured when the Women of the 30s occupied this space? What tone did they adopt? How did they position themselves? Did they tailor their words and thoughts around these four walls also? Was their attire as confrontational as Carberrys tonight? (For purposes at the begining, a green table cloth was fashioned and powershouldered as a cape to offset his gaffa taped head.)
Greenwoods score was puncuated with silences filled by the cafes coffee machined hiss alternating with recognisable sampled urban noise treatments. These ocassionally stood apart from the activity on the floor but never so much as to assume a detrimental identidy compromising the piece.
The sound of train on an over head track stuttered from the speakers. Outside cars picked up in volume, their noise washing in as they began to ferry the weekend population into the city. A bronzed Mark turns and stands facing the wall to finish.
Before leaving both preformers explained the nature of their collaboration and how feedback from displays like tonight are integral to the work in progress. The shorter first piece of the two tonight was showcased intially as a finished work on the ‘Rants’ theme but most felt that the improv of the second movement was a stronger interpretation particularly after Greenwoods explanation of how the moodboards the duo used visually shaped the piece.
This work well worth following as a journey shaped through improv and focused through different Limerick spaces. Its particular sucess tonight in some small part due to the Spiritstore and the emotional static that circles its walls when the sun goes down.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
The theme of collaboration continued into Sunday night when Myles Breen and Ciarda Tobin deliberated on their experience of writing their own plays based, in part, on personal experience. Collaboration in theatre practice emerged as a strong element in the process, as well as letting go of preconceived ideas, allowing characters to develop and change, being adaptable and so on. Ciarda described her experience of writing ‘The Fishermans Son’ staged earlier this summer in the Belltable Arts Centre and Myles talked about and read scenes from his current project 'Language Unbecoming a Lady', to be staged at the same venue on Sept 11th.
Friday, August 28, 2009
I have a passion for pools, this comes out every now and then at a strange time of night , often when a drink or two has been taken. John Galvin's piece - "...'till human voices wake us" often puts me in mind of a pool, a quiet pool bent over with trees. This would be my ultimate place to listen to this beautifully enigmatic piece, hand slipping over edge of lilo, anchored to centre for best sound appreciation. Obviously, The SpiritStore could not quite conjure up a pool but what did happen was equally sensational, a pool of people all sharing the centre floor in a loose circle for best sound appreciation, heads bent like hair dipping willows, eyelashes tipping cheeks, strangers forced into a closeness not easy shared. By the end of John's piece (a shorter version can be heard on his MySpace page) everyone seemed quite happy to stay on the floor and ask their various questions of the slight modest composer seated in the corner on his fold-away chair. Once again The SpiritStore exposed us all to something fresh, fragile and fascinating and John Galvin left us looking at ourselves through the lens of his composition, standing, as it were, at the edge of that quiet pool gazing, on a sunny Sunday morning.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Brian and Eileen Coates having been travelling back and forth to India for the last six years, at first to lecture in cultural studies and later to participate in a Museum Project. Their description of the politics and sensitivities involved in naming, acknowledging, protecting and preserving one ethnic group in that vast continent by means of the construction of a local museum, broadened our horizons last Saturday afternoon.
On Tuesday afternoon we hosted Sercan Sahin, a working artist living in Limerick. Speaking about Print as a medium, Sercan gave his audience an insight into the subject material that has inspired his work over the past 15yrs. He moved back and forth from technique to content to provide us with a clear idea of his ongoing practice.
Later the same day, Dr Luigina Ciolfi, from the Interaction Design Centre (IDC), at the University of Limerick, spoke about designing interactive technologies for public places. She began by contextualising her research, first as an approach that emphasises the importance of understanding people and context at the outset of a design project, and second by giving us her philosophical stand on ‘space and place’. Her presentation exemplified this design approach with a number of Limerick based project examples.
(Papers on this subject and examples of Interaction Design research carried out by the IDC here at home as well as europe-wide are available on the IDC website at http://www.idc.ul.ie/ )
Wednesday night, John Galvin, gathered his audience into a comfortable cluster in the middle of the SpiritStore and surrounded us with a set of five speakers that expelled the sound of his 12min sound piece based on states of sleep.
It was a wonderfully intimate sound experience that triggered questions on brainwave patterns, rythmn, waverates, surround-sound and interpretation.
And today, Nora O'Murchu introduced Limericks, TWEAK festival.
‘Tweak is an interactive art and live electronic music festival taking place in Limerick City between the 21st and 26th of September 2009. Its aim is to promote understanding of the use of technology within our culture and to explore contemporary issues (social, economic, psychological, aesthetic and functional).’ http://www.tweak.ie/
Limerick is hosting an international interactive art and live electronic music festival, with artists or artists work, arriving from the US and from all over Europe. SpiritStore will host the TWEAK cinema day on 24th of Sept, workshops on open source programming or digital object hacking that would normally cost 150 euros are available at a tenth of that price, (to very limited numbers, so be prepared to fight for a place) Nights of digital sound performances and expert presentations will run for 5days.
What emerged from todays talk is the sheer hard work that has gone into organising TWEAK, thanks Nora!
Finally, tonight Paul Tarpeys commentry and images of city graffiti defied any narrow interpretation of the form. Questions were put to the audience without judgement, on the activity, as a mark, an artform, a political or social statement, as a genre, a sub-culture, and in the end, on what future form might the activity and the graffitists take.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
A huge thanks to everyone who has participated so far and for those who have offered to join the SpiritStore in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, Alan Crowley's stop-motion film gives a flavour for anyone who can't manage a visit yet...
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Thanks to Vertigo Smyth for his beautiful tunes on Friday night, he's agreed to come back, we're already looking forward it.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Last evenings slot (Wed 19th Aug) Ailbhe Keogans honest portrayal of the writing journey was an inspiration. From Molly and the Cyclops to her current film script, her talk ultimately brought an understanding of the creative, mental, physical and structural, nature of her writing.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
The Shannonside Astronomers Club were out of this world, ouch bad pun, but seriously they were entertaining, informative, open to the continuous line of questioning and in fairness brave considering they had no idea how they'd be received, being the first day. More of this kind of thing please, they were great!
On Sunday night, Carla Burns opened up an evening conversation on the demise of cinema in Limerick city centre with an introduction to her DIY Guerilla Cinema. She invited Jack Burke who ran The City Theatre and Tom English, who ran The Savoy, later in the evening each related tales from their experience to the SpiritStore. Wonderful images emerged - usherettes selling sweets, spot-lighted as they moved about the dark womb of the theatres amongst the audience, film reels taken from the train and delivered to the cinema by handcart. We were told that Limerick had the largest cinema going population in the world pro-rata at one stage, that altogether there have been twelve city centre cinemas, we were told that there was only one copy of a film in the country at a time, and that up to 2000 film-goers would pour in and out of cinemas in limerick city centre in a single night. We didn't need to be told that here is no limerick city centre cinema now.
Todays hightlights were FRESH films, more to come..
And Tadgh Kellehers research on the connectedness of brainwaves and soundwaves. A small audience debated, asked questions, disagreed, agreed and picked his brain in true Café Voltaire style... more of this too please!
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
The SpiritStore Art Cafe presents a collection of diverse cultural activities over the months of August and September to be hosted in the unique environment of a Limerick landmark,The Sarsfield Bar. In the coming weeks The SpiritStore project seeks to infuse this reclaimed space with an busy collection of talks, performances, debates / discussions, screenings, readings, meetings and chance encounters with musicians, writers, visual artists, film makers, collectives, as well as varied clubs and societies.This inclusive experiment is an open invitation for all of Limerick to experience, absorb and creatively contribute to an exciting project. The Sarsfield Bar is located on the corner of Rutland St and Bank Place directly across from the Hunt Museum. The Sprit Store Art Cafe opens on the 9th of August until the 30th of September with a preview on August 8th at 5.00pm .Opening times are 12.00 til sunset Tuesday to Sunday inclusive.
(Coffee will be served free or with a donation but no food will be prepared or served in the space.)
A link too download our SUBMISSION FORM...
Our timetable for August, so far...
For any other information we can be contacted by e-mail ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Marilyn Lennon - Project Leader
Paul Tarpy - Public Relations
Anna Donegan - Security and Health and Safety
Catherine O'Brien - Volunteer Coordinator
Anna Donegan & Catherine O'Brien - Volunteer Handbook
Chris Boland & Derrek O'Sullivan - Buildings Managers
Aidan Kelleher - Set up and Tech Support
Eilish Tuite - Estates Manager
Alina O'Shaughnessy & David Morris - Treasury
Marilyn Lennon & Ciarda Tobin - Programme Coordinators
Also on the SpiritStore management team
Cian O Donoghue
Mike O Brien