Thursday, 26 October, 6-8pm
Tues-Fri, 1-5pm, Sat, 12-4pm
In Search of the Miraculous 2.0
Ends 04 November 2017
Friday, 03 November, 6pm
The Rule of the Land'. Walking Ireland’s border. Reading and discussion of his recent book with writer, map maker and artist Garrett Carr.
In July 1975, artist Bas Jan Ader set out from Los Angeles in a 13 foot pocket cruiser to single-handedly sail the west-east crossing of the North Atlantic. Ader envisioned for his work, 'In Search of the Miraculous' to be completed within two to three months. But three weeks into the journey, radio contact with the boat was lost - the following week, the cruiser found floating, almost vertically, off the coast of Ireland. The artist's remains were never recovered.
In July 2017, one year after the referendum, Polish artist Aleks Stanek commenced her project 'In Search of the Miraculous 2.0'. She ran 200 miles in seven consecutive days, repetitively crossing the Northern Irish border and weaving her way in and out of the Republic, to highlight the looming absurdity of restrictions of free movement after Brexit. At unmarked stops along the border, she erected the rubble of Belfast brick and ash tree seeds. Those scattered monuments force us to think about the whole length of the border as a monument site with its own agency, and remember those for whom a hard border would result in separation from family, friends, work, education, opportunities, life.
Every day, 20, 000 people cross from the Republic into the North, and vice versa. The role of the artist is to be reactive, especially at times when the risk of our norm changing dramatically is so overwhelmingly present.'
'In Search of the Miraculous 2.0.’ at PS², consists of photographs, texts and objects and form a personal reflection on the artist's border experience. What started as spontaneous protest, developed into an act of artistic and activist performance in the borderland.
About Aleks Stanek
Born in Gdansk in 1994, but resident in Northern Ireland since 2005, Stanek is a graduate of the Belfast School of Art. She currently studies at the Royal College of Art in London.
'THE RULE OF THE LAND is the story of Ireland’s border and a portrait of its landscape and people. First this three-hundred-mile line demarcated counties, then countries and will next be the frontier of the European Union. It was striking how little Ireland was discussed in the lead-up to the UK referendum on EU membership. You might have thought the border between the UK and the EU was going to be the English Channel. But it won’t be, it’s here, and it’s as thin as wire. THE RULE OF THE LAND explores a fragile borderland, with an uncertain future. For the book I followed the border closely, no matter where it brought me. Where I could not walk, I went by canoe. At night I camped out on the land. I visited architecture on the border, forts and dykes as well as defensive buildings of the Troubles. I also met many people who live on the frontier, they helped me get beyond the borderline symbol on the map and find the living ground.'
Garrett Carr, map-maker,writer and artist, was born in Donegal. He has previously published three Young Adult novels. A lecturer in Creative Writing at Queen's University, he lives in Belfast with his family. PS² showed 'The Map of Connections 2.0 & The Map of Encounters', in 2008 and he was involved in red in tooth and claw, 2008.
'The Rule of the Land'. Walking Ireland’s border. Faber&Faber, 2017 ISBN 9780571313358