Have you heard about the Guinness Dadaists who worked for the famous Dublin brewery by day and wrote sound poetry at night? Or Sister Anselme, the nun who lived in a convent in Galway and wrote drone compositions for the organ? Perhaps you’ve seen the films of Caoimhín Breathnach, an Irish outsider artist who buried tapes and films, sprayed them with seawater, and covered them in moss?
All of these figures are featured in Jennifer Walshe’s Historical Documents of the Irish Avant-Garde or Aisteach, a project for which Walshe worked with multiple collaborators, including philosopher Timothy Morton, to create an entirely fictional history of music in Ireland. At a time when fake news and filter bubbles dominate our perception of the world, Walshe makes a case for historical re-imaginings, parallel histories, and alternative narratives as ways to make people visible and work toward a more inclusive future. A case for how research can contribute to creating entirely fictional art and worlds.
Photo: Pieter Kers