Hobusepea Galerii, Tallinn, Thursday 1 March to Monday 19 March 2018
“There are palm trees everywhere in this country.”
Ella Bertilsson and Ulla Juske will present a glimpse into Rainy Days in Blanch, a family sitcom recorded in the iconic Blanchardstown Centre (Dublin) in the weeks before its official opening in 1996. Original video recordings and a replica studio set will be showcased in Hobusepea Galerii Tallinn in an exhibition titled ‘11.9km Northwest of the City Centre’.
Starring an all-female cast, Rainy Days in Blanch portrays a multigenerational family and their family friend. Each character shares directly with the audience an account of a memory, dream or nightmare. These previously unaired stories speak about house, home, family, and migration, as well as fear, paranoia, displacement and territory.
The exhibition is the product of research and practice undertaken by the artist-duo (SWE/IRE & EST/IE) during their recent residencies in Draíocht Arts Centre (Ireland) and Nordic Artists’ Centre Dale (Norway) and has been kindly funded by Culture Ireland and the Cultural Endowment of Estonia.
Ella Bertilsson and Ulla Juske are based in Dublin since early 2000s. They started to collaborate during their postgraduate studies on the MFA; Art in the Digital World Programme at NCAD, Dublin (2015). Together they construct non-linear narratives that drift between fact and fiction, past, present and future. These narratives become the catalyst for developing installations that are exploring the relationship between time and memory, place and identity.
The artist would like to thank: Draíocht Arts Centre, Nordic Artists’ Centre Dale (NKD), the Irish Embassy of Estonia, The Theatre Department of United World College Nordic Flekke, Hartstown Community School, Institution of Technology Blanchardstown, Draíocht Arts, Centre Youth Theatre Group, Corduff Community Centre, Phoenix FM’s podcast Africans in Ireland, Reet Varblane, Annelie Gardell, Sharon Murphy, Catherine O’Keeffe, George Brennan, Austin Hearne and Michelle Hall.
For one day, Ella Bertilsson and Ulla Juske turned the Circe Pavilion into a Museum of an Unknown Person. The artists came across a locked chest abandoned on Bella Street just around the corner from the Liberty Park. They decided to bring the chest to a locksmith and once the lock cracked it revealed a collection of personal belongings.
The Museum of an Unknown Person was part of the Circe Pavilion, curated by Oonagh Young and Mary Cremin, Liberty Park , July 2017.
The Circe Pavilion promotes the use of public space as an area for all disciplines of art and community groups. The purpose of the Circe Pavilion is for social engagement and for community groups to use.
The Waiting Room is an installation that challenges our perception of time. Waiting rooms are liminal, transitional places. A place where you wait to go somewhere else, impersonal and quickly forgotten. Waiting rooms are often functional spaces where the visitor has little control on how much time the wait will last. Here Ella Bertilsson and Ulla Juske’s waiting room at ArtBox creates a zone of attention; emphasising and acknowledging the subjective experience of time passing.
By connecting past, present and the imagined future together, the perception of time can be understood in a non-linear way. The present moment which is heavily embedded with memories, dreams and hopes is evident in the lyrics of Leonard Cohen’s song Waiting for the Miracle. The song is also the opening soundtrack of Oliver Stones film Natural Born Killers (1994) and can be heard throughout the gallery space playing from a radio. The film, which was banned in Ireland until 2013, tells the story of Mickey and Mallory, two victims of traumatic childhoods who become lovers and mass murderers, and are irresponsibly glorified by the mass media.
Baby, I’ve been waiting
I’ve been waiting night and day
I didn’t see the time
I waited half my life away
Part of the installation is a selection from Austin Hearne’s latest collection ‘Little Flowers’ and an essay of ‘Two teddies and a woman commit welfare fraud’ CSO Keeffe (link to the essay).
Uncertain Matter explores boundaries between fact and fiction, challenges perception of time, our place in the universe and our future within it. The narrative is based on numerous conversations with amateur astronomers, astrophysicists and botanists from Reykjavik and the surrounding area. The story that unfolds gives a personal insight to the thoughts and reflections of the people the artists have spoken to.
The project evolved from a three month residency with The Association of Icelandic Visual Artists (SIM) in Reykjavik, Iceland (July-September 2016). The project is funded by Nordic Culture Point Mobility Funding.
Uncertain Matter has been exhibited in various ways to enable the participants to experience the passage of time in different settings.
Uncertain Matter was exhibited with Outvert Art Space & ArtsIceland / Isafjordur, Nordic House / Reykjavik, Deiglan Gallery / Akureyri and upcoming: ArtBox / Dublin.
WE ARE INSISTING is an installation that announces “forced to leave Ireland, you know yourself’ at intervals of 2.5 minutes, the duration referencing the two and a half decades since the last abortion referendum in Ireland.
The work is inspired by the journey taken by two anonymous women who travelled to Britain in August 2016 for an abortion. Live tweeting their journey, the women directed each tweet at Taoiseach Enda Kenny. ‘Forced to leave Ireland’ is one of the tweets from Two Women Travel on their 48 hours journey away from home.
WE ARE INSISTING was exhibited at the Black Church Pint Studio members exhibition Attitude Precedes Form, curated by Hilary Murray at the Library Project in January 2017.
Audio installation in a security men’s hut, 00:16:00 duration, 2015.
Commissioned by the RHA (Royal Hibernian Academy) and OPW (Open Public Works)
Time is what happens when nothing else does is a narrative-driven installation meditating on sentinels and solitude, based on numerous conversations with security men and attendants around Dublin.
The visitor approaches the hut that is now unmanned.Once inside the viewer is positioned to look out on the street view. Under the window there is a sound bar simultaneously playing out the audio-piece without a beginning nor an end.
By observing and listening; the visitor experiences the prolonged passage of time in the same way as a security man or woman might do during a working shift. The narrative gives a glimpse into thoughts and reflections of the people the artists has spoken to.
“I think we are all people watchers. Why do we watch people? Maybe we are trying to discover more about ourselves.” Excerpt from audio script.
‘Titled Time is what happens when nothing else does, the artwork is a meditation on surviving a job that necessitates waiting and standing still while civilisation works, rests and plays. More generally, we are forced to think (if not exactly experience) notions of waiting and boredom, class and exclusion, being and Time. A person who practices mindfulness would be annoyingly content in here’ (BillionJournal, December, 2015).