Aideen Barry | ‘Possession’ | 2011 | Single channel video with sound | 6 mins 30 secs
Over the past few months has, for many of us, seen the boundaries between home and work become intangible. Artists have always documented what is immediate to them, the places they live and work as well as those of others. In this showcase we are looking back through the Arts Council collection and sharing works made over the past 50 years that explore where we live and where we work.
Here, Aideen Barry, whose work is showcased under the ‘Where we live, where we work’ theme, tells us more about the featured artwork and what it means to have her artwork as part of the Arts Council collection. Explore this and more from the Arts Council collection at https://www.instagram.com/artscouncilireland/
This work was originally conceived in 2011 as a response to the economic crash. I was trying to consider our complex relationship around property ownership, un-homeliness and the multiple interpretations of the word “Possession”: Possession as in "ownership of", and Possession as in "to be possessed by" or to become unhinged or dispossessed by an event.
Of course I could have never foreseen how this work would have such an uncannily prescient resonance with the current predicaments of our pandemic present. It is extremely odd and now unnerving to look at this work through the COVID lens. We have only just emerged from a time of confinement and with the ever looming threat of a future one around the corner, somehow the protagonist's behaviours and relationship with the domestic space, the banality of isolated living, all become some mad Beckett-ian type of knockabout.
It's hard to express how important it is to have a work like this in the Arts Council collection. Not only is it of course a prestigious collection to be in but it affords the opportunity for the work to be presented in curated projects like this one which gives it new contexts and relevances which of course keeps the work fresh and of the zeitgeist.
Since 1962, the Arts Council has been buying art from working artists. The Collection that evolved tells the story of modern and contemporary Irish visual art in a unique and fascinating way. Today the Collection continues to grow and its more than 1,100 paintings, sculptures and other works are on display in public spaces all over Ireland for people to experience and enjoy first hand. You can find out more at: www.artscouncil.emuseum.com