‘A Silent Year’, was an exhibition of video work by Gareth Kennedy, Ruth Lyons and Bea McMahon at the LAB Gallery, Dublin in the spring of 2009. The exhibition title ‘A Silent Year’ was a reference to Buckminster Fuller’s self-described year of researching and re-thinking following the dramatic collapse of his ‘Stockade Housing’ company. In early 2009, as Ireland dived headlong into the worst recession in the history of the state, this exhibition examined ideas of personal expression and public regulation in the context of contemporary Ireland.
Bea Mc Mahon’s poetic split-screen projection ‘Reciprocal 0’ (2007) depicts a lone hooded figure dancing. He appears to dance in a clearing in a remote forest. As strange lights flash in the distance we slowly realise he is dancing in the centre of a heavily trafficked suburban roundabout. ‘Fly Fishing’ (2008), by Ruth Lyons depicts a girl seemingly flying a kite from the end of a baited fishing line. Gareth Kennedy’s ‘Inflatable Bandstand’ (2008) documents the journey of ‘a contemporary folly’ as it travels to locations across rural Leitrim and Roscommon that have been ‘clumsily touched by the construction boom’. A second accompanying film ‘Planning Verbatim’ (2008) shows a ticker tape of shorthand language borrowed from planning applications. The exhibition was accompanied by a ‘Silent Year Library’ collated by Jo Anne Butler and Tara Kennedy (Culturstruction).
‘A Silent Year’ was launched by Dublin City Architect, Ali Grehan and concluded with a double bill talk by artist Gareth Kennedy and Gerry Cahill, Mary Byrne and Ciaran O’Brien of GCA Architects.
With thanks to the artists, GCA architects and Sheena Barrett, Arts Officer, Dublin City Council and curator at the LAB, Foley Street.