A conversation between Ella de Burca and her Dad .
ArtLot Dublin 2013.
E: Do you want a cup of tea?
D: Okay right I’ll have one yeah. (Flickers page.) This is going to be very formal now.
E: Oh it shouldn’t be formal.
D: Good afternoon Ms. de Burca.
E: It’s evening time!
D: Now tell me, whats this project all about? In your own words.
E: It’s a series of fences that are erected everyday, inside the perimeter of the original fence. (Drinks some tea.) So everyday a new fence will appear behind the first fence, until theres a maze of fences, and the inside space, is no longer a space, rather its just one big fence.
D: And why did you decide on this maze of barricades?
E: Because I was interested in the fence thats there, its role is to divide the space of the street from the space inside the derelict space. The derelict space is only separated from the street cause you can’t enter it, because there’s a fence.
D: Ahuh, and what age group is this, eh, project aimed at?
E: It’s art. So.. everyone.
D: Right. So there’s no parameters?
E: No, theres no barriers.
D: And how will you quantify the effectiveness of the project?
E: (Blows out air.) How do you quantify the effectiveness of any project?
D: If I see some result.
E: What like a physical result?
D: Well I’m asking you!
D: Like how will you know was this project effective or not?
E: I guess if someone appreciates it, or stops to think about it, thats what art does…think..
D: Surely you’d want more than just one person taking notice?
E: Taking notes?
E: Oh, notice… Well it’s outdoors, so I assume a good few people will walk by and see it, you know?
D: Yeah well how will you quantify whether… whether it has affected their thinking process, or has any effect on them?
E: I won’t.
D: I see.. (Long pause.) And, what do you hope to achieve with this project?
E: Em.. that kind of falls into the last question in terms of making people think, or aware of their city space… Take some place that we walk through everyday, if I can inspire one person to think about the difference between public and private property then I think I will have achieved a lot.
D: And what’s the difference between public and private property?
E: Public property is designated by the elected representatives to utilize the space in a way that seems fitting, whereas private property is owned by someone, and they have the say over.. over..
D: The access to it?
D: How long will this project last?
E: Until the end of November
D: And, em, the interview is over now, will you need physical help to help to put this on, or how are you going to assemble the barriers every morning, are you going to do it yourself?
E: It’s all, a work in progress…
D: Oh well thats a good answer.
E: So.. you didn’t ask me about the name of the project…
D: Well has it a title?
D: What’s the title of the project?
E: Haha Harcourt Road.
D: (Clears his throat.) Anyway, the interview is over, but between you and me, in the mornings, the average person going down that road is going to work, busting his ass to make it on time,
E: Ah ha
D: And in the evening time they’re going home… in between you’ll have stragglers or old people or whatever, so, there has to be something about it to catch the eye. Like, like, you’ve different sections, you’ve people in cars, you’ve people in buses, you’ve people walking, so, I don’t think piling up a load of barriers is going to catch their eye, unless you do something about it, you know? So. You’ll have to think about that.
E: You think?
D: Well this is where you have the freedom..
E: But its art…
D: But, but if you’re down there for a whole month and no one notices it, would that not be a bit of a failure?
D: Where as if you…
E: Yeah, I get what you’re saying…
D: The curator, how will the curator evaluate what you’re doing?
E: Em… he looks at it in relation to context, and time and situation, and sees if it’s relevant to the world, to have an inaccessible assemblage of fences.
D: It’s inaccessible?!
E: Yes ‘cause it’s always going to be behind the first fence, all of the shows that go on in that space all take place inside the closed space.
D: Hmm. There’s other shows?
E: Yes. (Pause.) You didn’t ask why its called Haha Harcourt Road.
D: Oh I didn’t no. Well, what’s behind the title?
E: Well, a Haha is old landscape terminology.
E: Haha. Its, em, an old landscape term, a eh, method of segregating one part of the field into another part of the field. Say you have a big house,
E: And, before lawnmowers were invented they would have sheep graze the grass to keep it short, but they didn’t want the sheep to come near the big house… So instead of erecting a fence, which would obscure the beautiful view of the horizon from inside the house,
E: They had a step down.
D: Oh, a step down fence?
D: Like in Malahide Castle?
D: Is that a Haha?
D: Oh is it?
E: Yeah. And they called it a Haha, ‘cause when they were out walking, and they almost fell down..
D: Surprise yeah!
E: They’d go oh Haha!
D: So why Haha Harcourt road?
E: Because we get to see the fence.
‘It’s an age old trick’ he said, as he bit off a little piece…
Then, holding the almost apple in one hand, he proceeded to rub the tiny piece of bitten apple against the green surface of the fuller piece, the moistness of the fruits’ inside cleaning the Earths residue from the apple’s outer terrain.
this project is going to be made possible with thanks to:
Ella de Burca works with sculpture, performance and writing to draw out an array of ideas about memory, labour and identity. Usually working in response to immediate surroundings, de Burca views exhibition making as a physical manifestation of the thought processes inspired by being present in a place. Her work could be viewed as an ongoing discussion about the confirmation, refutation and substantiation of seemingly evident things that inspire one to meditate on the possibilities of existence.
De Burca has been accepted for the 2014 residency at the Kunstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin, and has shown extensively in Ireland and Europe. Solo shows include ‘Illuminating Kunstholes’ at Coffre-Fort, Brussels, Belgium, 2013, ‘Aviary Asterism’ at Air Antwerpen, Antwerp, Belgium 2012, ‘The Reality Show,’ The Banff Centre, Canada 2011, ‘Duino,’ Place gallery, Wexford and ‘Silent Vibrations’ at the Irish Museum of Contemporary Art 2010.
Group shows include ‘Playing Nature’ The 5th Moscow Biennale, Russia, ‘Rebuilding Utopia’ The Emergency Pavilion at The 53rd Venice Biennale 2013, Dublin Contempo- rary 2011, ‘Out on a Boat Were a Group of People Singing’ at The Lab 2011, ‘Disavow’ at The Joinery 2011 and ‘the cloud’ at Draiocht in 2010.
Upcoming shows include Vienna Art Fair curated by Katia Kruppenikova, and ‘On Curating Histories’ , curated by Kate Strain.