Anthony Haughey - 29 July to 10 August 2012
Belfast Exposed is pleased to present Settlement, a photographic and architectural exhibition by Anthony Haughey. The exhibition includes photographs of ‘ghost estates’ shot around Ireland in 2010/11 and an architectural installation, including a scale model of the Anglo Irish Bank HQ designed by architect Paul O’Sullivan. Haughey has also collaborated with UCD Architecture students, DIT NAMAlab project and Mahoney Architects on the production of a series of alternative proposals for unfinished and disused sites. A number of these architectural proposals will be featured in the exhibition.
Throughout Ireland’s so called ‘Celtic Tiger’ years the country witnessed dramatic economic and cultural changes and unprecedented growth. This new body of work documents the effects of economic growth on both the shifting population demographic and the physical environment. In the past 15 years a new multicultural society has emerged. The population has shifted from a 99% indigenous monoculture to 10% “new Irish”. Migrant workers, asylum seekers and refugees from more than one hundred countries migrated to Ireland during the boom years in search of a better life.
Settlement explores the effects of economic growth on the natural landscape. Even in the smallest rural villages and towns private developers and credit rich individuals availed of favourable government tax breaks and laissez faire planning legislation to hastily build domestic housing estates for quick profit and to meet the demands of a growing population.
All the photographs in this series are produced between sunset and sunrise, partly to avoid any potential confrontation with security guards who regularly patrol these sites during the daytime. The combination of darkness, artificial light and long exposures draws attention to the effects of development on the natural environment by reducing each photograph to the key elements of land and manmade constructions. The natural landscape has been disturbed by earth moving machinery generating artificial hills and valleys in front of half built or unoccupied dwellings. Slowly, nature has started to reclaim the exposed landscape.
With the collapse of Ireland’s ‘Celtic Tiger’ economy, more than fifteen years of growth suddenly ended. The banks foreclosed on developer’s loans, all building projects across the state ceased. This resulted in ‘ghost estates’ and unfinished ‘one off houses’ standing isolated in former picture postcard landscapes. During 2010 the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis estimated that there are currently more than 620 ‘ghost estates’ and thousands of empty houses throughout Ireland. These eerie ‘monuments’ are a testament to the end of Ireland’s gold rush and the resulting cost of unregulated growth.
Anthony Haughey lives and works in Ireland. He is an artist and lecturer/researcher in the School of Media at the Dublin Institute of Technology where he is also a PhD supervisor at the Centre for Research in Transcultural Media Practice. He is an editorial advisor for the photographic journal Photographies published by Routledge (London).
He recently completed a three-year research fellowship at the Interface Centre for Research in Art, Technologies and Design at the University of Ulster where he recently completed a PhD. During his research fellowship in Belfast he organised public discussion forums around Art and Contested Spaces, and curated public art projects including, Art, Media and Contested Space, an international public art event, which included artists, Alfredo Jaar, Peter Kennard and Cat Phillipps and Wendy Ewald and Faisal Abdu’ Allah.
His work has been exhibited and collected internationally and is represented in public and private collections. Disputed Territory (2006) is a long-term project that examines conflicts over territory and identity in contemporary Europe. It is a quiet investigation into the slowly unfolding aftermath of conflict in Ireland, Bosnia and Kosovo.
In addition to large-scale colour photographs, Disputed Territory includes a series of interventions using found photographs, and a sound/video installation piece, Resolution. For this work, Haughey focuses on the massacre at Srebrenica where an estimated 8000 Muslim men and boys ‘disappeared’ despite their being under the protection of the UN. Haughey worked directly with members of the International Centre for Missing Persons in Bosnia to produce the video piece and soundscape using researched testimonies from individuals who survived near death experiences during the conflict in Bosnia and Kosovo (installation acquired for the collection of Wolverhampton Art Gallery) and a further piece purchased in 2010.
Settlement at Belfast Exposed is supported by Arts Council Northern Ireland, Belfast City Council and Department of Social Development.
Settlement TALKS & EVENTS
There will be a discussion between Anthony Haughey and Dr Cian O'Callaghan on 29th June at 2pm. This will look at Haughey's work in Settlement and the phenomenon of 'ghost estates' in closer detail.
Settlement Panel Discussion: 9 August, 2pm
To accompany Settlement by Anthony Haughey, Belfast Exposed is pleased to host a panel discussion which draws comparisons between policies and patterns of urban development in the North and the South of Ireland in recent years, particularly in the contexts of Belfast and Dublin. Through shared discussion, we are interested in exploring some of the creative alternatives being proposed by contemporary artists and architects in response to residual urban planning and development problems in both cities.
Aidan McGrath, PLACE: Architecture and Built Environment Centre, Belfast
Paschal Mahoney, Mahoney Architecture, Dublin
Mark Hackett, Forum for Alternative Belfast
James Hayes, University College Dublin (Architecture)
These events are FREE but please reserve your place by emailing