In Place / Out of Place was produced for the Connecting Commemorative Communities project and launched last week at The MAC, Belfast.
The exhibition concept centred on this definition, offered by one of the project participants.
aporia: a productive pause in discussion enabling the holding of multiple ideas in tension and considering them
With this in mind, we chose to display a selection of visual and textual material from the workshop programme without a directional narrative or an explicit structure. The hanging banners show photographs taken during the workshop programme, juxtaposed to suggest some of the core issues arising from group discussions. The banners are double-sided and hung to allow the viewer to walk between and consider the images from different aspects and viewpoints. Placards propped against the wall are printed with quotations from project participants and leading researchers in the field of memory work and commemoration. Again, these can be selected and rearranged to illustrate a range of perspectives. Finally, the photo maps and visual dialogues created during the workshops were printed onto wood and made into circular tables. Placed in the room with the banners and placards, these create a space to pause, reflect and discuss with other viewers.
We hope the exhibition respects the opinions, experiences and emotions of project participants and makes a contribution to wider dialogue surrounding the issue of commemoration in Northern Ireland. The PSNI are considering using these materials to inform future training programmes on dealing with contentious commemorations. And DCAL are exploring opportunities to display the exhibition at PRONI and local libraries.
Curation: Gemma Reid and Bryonie Reid
Design: Cathal Tunney
Photography: Sarah Pannasch