Born in Belfast and now living in Dublin, John Byrne has explored notions of patriotism and nationalism for over a decade. In 2003, as part of the Robert Emmet commemorations of that year, he filmed Would you die for Ireland?. A humorous piece, it involves the artist conducting a series of impromptu interviews with pedestrians, which include the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and members of the Orange Order, all over Ireland.
Enriched with interviews from 2016, Would you die for Ireland? is being screened in conjunction with Peep, his new sculptural work specially created for the CCI. Addressing national allegiance and our relationship with particular emblems, the free-standing booth installed in CCI’s courtyard offers individuals an intimate encounter with a revered symbol of nationhood. Banners and anthems are more often crowd-pleasers enjoyed by the collective, the crowd, the tribe. This new work offers a novel, discreet way of experiencing a nation’s colours in action, flown for their personal gratification in a very private setting.
Our current artists-in-residence Alan Phelan and Siobhan McDonald will open their studios in the courtyard to the public on the same evening as the vernissage of Denis Buckley and John Byrne’s exhibitions.