On The Currency Of Forks

Passing by a Dublin Bike station the other day, I remembered a blog post I never wrote about currency – one of those. Yes, you see, I often wonder about such things.

As it happens, since I arrived in Ireland a while back I have been sharing accommodation with other people. One of the meaningless things I noted is that oftentimes forks and coffee spoons quickly run out on the clean cutlery drawer; there is high demand while supply doesn’t vary. They end up in the sink, or in the dishwasher at best, awaiting to be serviced. Curiously enough, spoons and knives tend to be less popular. So, what do you do when you can’t find one of these clean? You wash one, of course. You have to, really. But I wondered if adding currency to the demand – like printing more notes – would have any effect.

Yes, I tested it: I added a whole new set of 6, but only of forks and spoons. And what do you think it was the result?

Recently, the unexpected success of the Dublin City Bikes brought with it a minor downfall, a crack in the joyful experience of such a civilised engagement. Suddenly we the users realised that at certain times during the day, in particular locations, it was impossible to find a station to park. It defeated the purpose, as one had to travel to another station, perhaps far and inconvenient. But now we are offered a couple of solutions:

The first one: “In this case, log in at the terminal with either your Long Term Hire Card or 3 Day Ticket and you will be given 15 minutes free of charge to get to the nearest station with available stands and a list of nearby stations with availability.”

The second one, on top of that, is the addition of another 10 parking bays in many of these stations, to a total of 287 new bike stands.

And here, while passing by and taking that picture shown above, I thought about the paradox of the fork. The addition of that new set only proved to work depending on the number of users. The more users, the more likely to find a drawer with no forks. At the same time, the more users, the more likely the forks would be cleaned and placed back in the drawer. Is there an ideal number of users then?

I am sure there is a mathematical way to look at this, I just hope they talked to the right person about it.

FOAM Magazine, now in Ireland!


Daniel O’Gorman, visual researcher, is now officially representing FOAM in Ireland. This put simply means that finally, and given the time, we will be able to buy FOAM at our local newsagent… The press release:

“We are proud to announce we are now representing Foam Magazine in Ireland. Foam is available to order through us by emailing publications@danielogorman.com and will be making it way to gallery/art book stores in Ireland soon. If you are a retailer and want to talk to us about stocking Foam please talk to us at publications@danielogorman.com. We will be opening an online publications store later this week with more titles to be anouncements to come.

Foam Magazine is a quarterly publication that sets itself apart with its generous 16 pages of portfolio space that it allots to each of the eight contributing photographers. Each portfolio is printed on a different type of paper, carefully selected to enhance the photographic image, and is accompanied by an essay or interview of an acclaimed author. A quarterly theme challenges the reader to see the portfolios in a different perspective. It defines surprising common grounds between the different photographers’ varying styles and genres.

In addition, Foam Magazine reveals six images that have been on the minds of various eminent figures in the cultural world and reviews the latest photography publications. The result is a highly appreciated magazine within the international photography world. Both professionals and contemporary art lovers regard Foam Magazine as a timeless collector’s item used for inspiration and reflection.

‘We would like to stress that Foam Magazine is one of the finest photo magazines that exist internationally, with good quality content and wonderful graphic design. It is a real pleasure to look at and read.’ – Julien Frydman, director magnum Photos, Paris.”

All I can say is FANTASTIC!!

DeLorean Times Two

Things do not tend to happen by chance. Or at the least things about the DeLorean. Two consecutive events about it have been brought to our attention recently: Sean Lynch exhibition ‘DeLorean: Progress Report’, just closed recently at the Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, and Duncan Campbell’s documentary film ‘Make It New John‘ showing at Tramway, Glasgow till the 14th of March. Campbell’s is a co-commission by Glasgow’s Tramway in partnership with The Chisenhale Gallery, London, the Artists Film and Video Umbrella and the Model Arts and Niland Gallery, Sligo.

Make it new John is made up of four fragmentary and often contrary sections. Campbell deliberately opted to end his possibly unreliable versions of events prior to the drugs sting that DeLorean was later acquitted of as his company faced financial ruin. ‘I’m not trying to be deliberately obscure,’ Campbell insists, ‘but you have to tailor what you do so you’re not dictated to by a framework. What I’m doing is more about montaging a story that was almost Shakespearian, where what’s important is what you leave out.’
The List

But as it happens this is more than just ‘putting former headline-makers back into the limelight‘. And it is very interesting to see these different approaches and how each one of them has used the DeLorean to speak about personal recurrent concerns, both framed within a historic research. I am looking forward to see Campbell’s work. Though, having listen to Sean Lynch speak about his work, his research based practice, and the context of this work, I am certain that Campbell’s work would not be able to deliver the same punch. Aw, life is tough.

‘DeLorean: Progress Report’, Sean Lynch


Sean Lynch’s photographs, installations and publications continue to investigate and bring to attention understandings and representations of history. His first solo exhibition at the Kevin Kavanagh Gallery takes as a starting point the bankruptcy and subsequent aftermath of the DeLorean car factory, which operated in Dunmurry, outside Belfast, from 1981-2. A series of photographs trace a path taken by the artist throughout 2009 to seek out and find the location of the tooling once used to make the body of the car, essentially the formgivers that gave DeLorean its famous profile. Sold off and dispersed to scrapyards through the country in1984, it was rumoured that the tooling was purchased by fishermen to be used as anchors. Lynch eventually located them at the bottom of Galway Bay, where crabs and lobsters now live in the coral around the nooks and shapes that once pressed out stainless steel panels of the car’s exterior. Also, presented for the first time is ongoing work to produce sections of a DeLorean by handmade rather than industrial means.

‘Make It New John’, Duncan Campbell

For his first major solo exhibition in Scotland, the highly regarded Glasgow-based artist Duncan Campbell (born 1972, Dublin) will present his latest film piece, a co-commission by Tramway in partnership with Chisenhale Gallery, London; the Artists’ Film and Video Umbrella and theModel Arts and Niland Gallery, Sligo. The film looks back over the life of John DeLorean and the car plant he set up in Belfast. Combining archive news material with newly-filmed footage, the film considers DeLorean’s own personal rise and fall as echoed in the example of the impressively stylish but technically flawed DMC12 sports car that was produced at the factory. The commission will continue the artists’ exploration of documentary film – started in his earlier films Falls Burns Malone Fiddles (2003) and the acclaimed Bernadette (2008) – where what constitutes reality and truth in such films becomes a shifting notion.

A great video interview about the film with Campbell at the Telegraph.
And more on The List.

‘Return to Irelantis’, by Sean Hillen


Opening: Thursday 11 February at 6:30pm
12 February – 10 April
Admission free

To launch the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Alliance Française in Dublin, a collection of acclaimed work by the important Irish artist Seán Hillen will be shown for the first time in Dublin since the 1990’s.
Best known for his ‘Irelantis’ series, where competing myths and visions cohabit a deliciously witty montage, Hillen is one of the most significant artists of his generation.
Hillen has also undertaken sculptural pieces, most recently the Omagh Bomb Memorial which has received both popular and critical acclaim.
As the ‘Irelantis’ images have come to be seen as the most vivid and emblematic expression of the dreams and anxieties of ‘Celtic Tiger’ Ireland, his works from the ‘Troubles’ era, based on his own gritty photographs, have become more widely-known internationally and are now studied as masterworks of the medium.


The ‘Irelantis’ images have since burrowed deep into Irish culture, appearing on nearly 20 book covers and in this exhibition the public will get a rare opportunity to see several of the delicate almost miniature original collages, together with a selection of a new definitive edition of archival prints.

From the book’s introduction by Fintan O’Toole
“Seán Hillen’s Irelantis images are maps of a world in which the imagination is part
of reality, the visual equivalent of the sound the sun makes as it sinks into the sea.
As soon as they strike the eye, Hillen’s collages also hit whatever remains of
the bold child within us. They have the lawless energy that impels people to draw
moustaches on photographs of the Mona Lisa, or to decorate mundane stories with fantastic lies…”

A full colour catalogue presenting the exhibited work will be available for sale at the Alliance Française.

Check also
Sean Hillen: http://www.seanhillen.com
Irelantis: http://www.irelantis.com