167 (screentests)
Kennedy Browne, digital video, 38 mins, 2009

This work is one of a series commissioned for the Irish Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale. It takes as its starting point Dublin as ‘the city Google chose’ for its EMEA* headquarters, and a recent statistic that the city is home to over 167 languages - what the Facebook corporation has described as a ‘multilingual pool’.

For this work people from across Dublin city who spoke more then one language were invited to Liberty Hall (Dublin’s tallest building and home to the Ireland’s largest trade union) to audition for a film to be made on the roof of the tower. Auditionees were asked to perform the first line of neo-liberal economist Milton Friedman’s text in which he eulogises the pencil as a perfect product of the free market. This was performed in a language of the auditionee’s choice. They were also asked to form an improvised response to Friedman’s ideas and then to pare the pencil for an inordinately long time, thus whittling it away. This was performed against an ‘infinite white’ backdrop mimicking the ‘no where’ utopian space and visual language of Google promotional videos.

Out of those that auditioned, one was selected to perform a gestural response to Friedman's monologue on the roof of Liberty Hall. See here.

*EMEA - Europe, the Middle East and Africa



167 and counting, Caoimhin Mac Giolla Leith
Holding Space, Declan Long
The Geo-poetics of the Everyday, Michael Cronin

Exhibited at:

The Irish Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale
Blue Collar Blues... at the Tallinn Kunstihoone, Estonia
Kennedy Browne at The Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris
Kennedy Browne at N.C.A.D. Gallery, Dublin, Ireland
IrelandVenice at the Golden Thread, Belfast, Northern Ireland