Episode 306: Dallas, Belfast
DVD, 12 minutes, Belfast, 2006
The future is entertainment, and entertainment becomes the future
Commissioned as part of the Space Shuttle project in Belfast, Kennedy Browne used the shuttle on a site at the soon-to-be-redeveloped Titanic Quarter. The shuttle itself is a purpose built pre-fabricated structure clad in shiny metal. Turning its interior into a film set, they worked with a group of people from across the city selected by open audition to make a video work based on a fictional script of 1980s TV show Dallas. This aimed to investigate issues of development, prosperity and choice in the context of Belfast's ongoing regeneration.
The shuttle was carefully located so as to frame iconic views of Belfast’s post-industrial landscape including the massive Samson and Goliath cranes of the old ship yard. It was used as an insulated micro-environment in which to meditate on some of the changes that surround it on 'the outside' with the city garnering foreign investment and in the process of being ‘rebranded’. The use of a text from Dallas served as a hook from popular culture and connected with a certain nostalgia in the Irish/UK context where so many watched it to vicariously live the life of Bobby, Sue Ellen et al.
The script used uncannily prefigures the more recent language of globalisation, touching on issues of de-nationalised industry and foreign investment. Three different casts of three were selected to enact the same piece of dialogue, each of whom enacted the script with different subtleties of experience and interpretation.
For more see the project website
SPACE SHUTTLE, initiated by PS2, Belfast
Funded by the National Lottery through the Northern Ireland Arts Council, and Belfast City Council through Celebrate Belfast 2006
Exhibited in different formats at:
Culturstruction, part of Open House, Dublin. Curated by Jo Anne Butler and Tara Kennedy for the Irish Architecture Foundation, October 2008
Meditations II Biennale, Museum Of Modern Art, Poznan, Poland, October 2008
UNOACTU, Dresden, Germany, August 2008
'Current Trends - Past Prospects', solo exhibition at Pallas Contemporary Projects, November 2007
Episode 306: Dallas, Belfast, artist's project for CIRCA, issue 120, 2007
Hotel Ballymun: installation room, curated by Seamus Nolan, 2007
Interview with Colin Graham, The Irish Review, ed. Declan Long, winter 2008
What Form Must We Take?, Jessica Foley, CIRCA 123, spring 2008
Space Shuttle catalogue essay, Kennedy Browne, 2007
Titanic Quarter image showing location of the 'Space Shuttle'
The 'Space Shuttle'