Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca | RISE | 2018 | 2K Video | 20 mins
The Arts Council has a proud tradition as part of Culture Night of showcasing a selection of exciting artworks recently added to the Arts Council Collection.
For Culture Night 2020 works by artists Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca, Salvatore of Lucan, Áine Phillips and Doireann O’Malley will celebrate the Arts Council Collection’s proud history of purchasing ambitious work that engages with and reflects
contemporary Irish society.
While this year it will not be possible to share these works in person with audiences on the night, we have decided instead to highlight the excellence and diversity of visual arts practice in Ireland today by inviting a few of the Collection’s most recently
acquired artists to give some insight on their works.
Here, Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca tell us more about their featured artwork, their collaborative practice and what it means to have this work included as part of the Arts Council Collection.
Explore this and more from the Arts Council Collection at https://www.instagram.com/artscouncilireland/
Seven years ago in Scarborough, located in Toronto’s east end, the young poet Randell Adjei formed a creative club—a self-professed “safe space” named R.I.S.E. (Reaching Intelligent Souls Everywhere). Meeting once a week in community centres, participants
share their spoken-word poems and songs in an environment inspired by the concept of “Edutainment,” a phrase coined by the legendary New York rapper KRS-1, one of the founding fathers of Hip Hop. At R.I.S.E., performers are encouraged by a sympathetic
audience, who fully
participate in an atmosphere of mutual support and collective therapy. The meetings are punctuated by different forms of acceptance through equally affective audience responses (finger snapping, deep throat intonations, mmmmm): a twenty-first century
call-andresponse. The majority of poets who perform at R.I.S.E. have one foot in another land, culture, or language. As a result, a sense of in-betweenness or duality is often discursively expressed, performed, and debated at each R.I.S.E. meeting.
The aesthetics of a culturally mixed Toronto is exemplified in the practices of R.I.S.E. participants, whose poetics give expression to a certain political place-full-ness, a sense of being at home with an elsewhere.
This is discursively expressed by the film’s protagonists as an aesthetics of poly-vocal futurity—no longer as a negotiation of cultural forms of the past. This is explored in the film by shooting in the liminal spaces of the Toronto Transit Commission’s
(TTC) long-awaited subway extension. Linking the centre (downtown) and the peripheries (suburbs), this new underground space is a passage, not a destination.
Treated as a mise-en-scène, the subway acts as a literal and conceptual platform to frame concerns expressed by artists at R.I.S.E.: the artistic inquiries happening in Toronto’s suburbs and the special perspectives that this peripheral condition has
to offer the visual culture of tomorrow.
— Bárbara Wagner & Benjamin de Burca
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