Mid project opening
Thursday, 03 October 6-9pm (Late Night Art) Lunchtime Lecture: Thursday, 03 October 1pm at Linenhall Library
Tues- Sat 12-4pm
Fragments from the ‘Peacewall Archive’
Ends 05 October 2019
standing to the side, observing, slightly incredulous, trying to work out the
likelihood of this imagined event coming to fruition in the real world. It
seems so illogical, fantastical even, but this is Belfast, and what do I know?
Tense negotiations are carried out on the spot. After some time, it is agreed
that work will stop until a palisade fence (some 15 feet high) is constructed
in line with and about 12 metres away from the current wall, which is in the
process of being taken down. I recognise instantly what is happening. The
shape of the Interface is mutating again, changing form - from brick and metal
sheet to metal mesh palisade fencing, and changing position - an eight metre
offset in parallel to its current position, but effectively remaining in place,
doing its job, as it has done for the past 50 years or so. The Interface,
through its porosity, and its capacity to mutate and accommodate change while
retaining its divisive function - is a masterpiece of material resilience”.
Thirteen Points, Extracted High Definition Digital Video Projection, installation view
Forensics__No 2 of 13 Chromaluxe Fine Art Prints on Aluminum
September, Belfast celebrates another perhaps unwanted anniversary – fifty
years of ‘peacewalls’ dividing communities in the city. Comprising thirteen
different wall clusters situated throughout Belfast, these defensive barriers
are designed to respond to an evolving set of local actions, events and spaces
of conflict. The wall clusters both demarcate a territorial condition and form
a backdrop for the performance of expressions of cultural identity. Over many
years, the areas around each wall cluster have accumulated deposits and debris,
forming a unique and local archive in space and time.
4. CONCLUSIONS OF A MEETING OF THE OF THE JOINT SECURITY COMMITTEE HELD ON MONDAY, 28 SEPTEMBER 1970, IN STORMONT CASTLE AT 11.30AM
The archival project now known as the ‘Peacewall Archive’ was instigated after the removal and replacement of the Workman’s Gate Entrance at the Falls/Shankill Interface on Belfast's Lower Springfield Road in April 2015. This particular event confirmed the growing fact that the Interfaces/Peacewalls in Belfast are slowly changing, as we approach the Northern Ireland Executive’s troublesome target to ‘remove all interface barriers by 2023’.
Locally, the existence of this archive serves as further evidence that the physical interfaces are going through a process of removal, changing in state from physical artefacts to digital archive. On a global level, the archive will serve as a record, and perhaps a warning to other contested zones about the long-term implications of separation and segregation on urban, architectural and local community levels.
For PALISADE, James O’Leary presents photography, objects and video exploring fifty years of ‘peacewalls’ in the city.
James O'Leary: PALISADE -Fragments from the ‘Peacewall Archive’
About the Peacewall Archive
The ‘Peacewall Archive' aims to provide a definitive online documentation of the Belfast 'peacewalls' in Northern Ireland. Through photography, maps, drawings, video, text and audio, this archive aims to document the steady growth and hesitant removal of interface barriers in Belfast from 1969 to the present day. Ongoing versions of this work have been presented at the Barbican, London (2015), Calgary, Canada (2018), and the Royal Academy London (2019).
is an architect and installation artist. He is Associate Professor and
Programme Director for the MA Situated Practice Programme at the Bartlett
School of Architecture, University College London.
As one half of the collaborative partnership Kreider + O’Leary he makes performance, installation and time-based media work which has been shown at venues including Tate Britain, Whitechapel Gallery and the Royal Academy of Arts in London as well as in the Lisbon Architecture Triennale and the Istanbul Biennial. Kreider + O’Leary have co-authored two books: Falling (Copy Press, 2015) and Field Poetics (Ma Bibliothèque, 2018).