August 24, 2009 - Project Arts Centre - Corrib Gas Project Arts Centre
August 24, 2009

Corrib Gas Project Arts Centre

© Séamus Nolan, 2009

Séamus Nolan
Corrib Gas Project Arts Centre
28 August – 10 October 2009

Opening 27 August, 6pm

39 East Essex Street
Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Ireland

This solo exhibition looks at the 10 year struggle between two cultures in the West of Ireland. On one side, a small community defends the safety of its people and rights of its farmers and fishermen. On the other, the consortium of Shell Oil, the Norwegian state company Statoil and Marathon, plan to bring to market the valuable gas deposit of the Corrib gas field, off the North-West coast of Ireland. To achieve this, a production pipeline is being laid to carry the high pressure gas inland, to a processing plant in Mayo, exiting the Atlantic Ocean and reaching the Irish Coast at Glengad and Rossport.

The artist Séamus Nolan researches the positions – community, corporate and judicial – which frame the debate in this highly contentious situation, and which were stated formally during a recent public hearing, restaged and filmed by Nolan. The various voices of the local community are heard: community leaders – teachers, farmers and retired citizens argue against the operation, citing risks to the safety of the people in the community as well as ideological objections, while a re-enactment of the statement of the Shell lawyer argues that there is very little appropriate risk, and outlines the steps taken by the conglomerate to address the community’s concerns.

Boiling behind the backdrop of the argument are ideas of nationhood and identity – invoked by those who claim historical rights to working the land and seas, and contested by those who make the case for the benefits to the Irish economy and future energies infrastructure. Glimpsed between the lines are the actions and involvement of the Irish state and the use of the police, to defend the developers and maintain the production schedule.

In previous works, Nolan has sought to explore the socially determined frontiers of the art world by contesting the foundations on which judicial decisions are made. With Corrib Gas Project Arts Centre, the artist implicates a non-aligned centre for art and culture in the debate, challenging through this action the autonomy and political independence that is a founding principle of most artistic organisations.

Curated by Tessa Giblin and Jonathan Carroll

Follow this link for a detailed historical description of the Corrib Gas Project debate

Corrib Gas Project Arts Centre has been produced by Project Arts Centre, and supported by a Commission Award from the Arts Council.

Project Arts Centre | 39 East Essex Street | Temple Bar | Dublin 2 | Ireland
+353 1 881 9613
Monday – Saturday, 11am – 8pm

Project Arts Centre, Dublin

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