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August 18, 2008

TRANSITOPIA : A Public Art project exploring the transitory identity of a modern commuter town

TRANSITOPIA : A Public Art project exploring the transitory identity of a modern commuter town
20th – 24th August 2008, Naas, Co. Kildare

Parking Meter Arts and Kildare County Council Arts Service presents TRANSITOPIA, a contemporary public art project created specifically for Naas, Co Kildare. Six artists have been selected to create new work in response to strategically important sites and locations in the socio-cultural trajectory of this modern commuter town.

The size, nature and identity of Naas has shifted in line with changes in town-planning, and in new and old architectural structures. According to curators Mark Durkan and Mary Jo Gilligan, ‘TRANSITOPIA is a contemporary art project examining the negotiation between people and place and how the development of one directly influences the transformation of the other.  The project engages with social infrastructure, architectural planning and the historical trajectory of industrial, commercial and public space.’

They explained that TRANSITOPIA has three points of focus :
The first involves four artists commissioned to ENGAGE with SPECIFIC SITES in producing new work - Michelle Browne working at Sallins/Naas Train Station, Dominic Thorpe working at Sallins/Naas Train Station and Áras Chill Dara, Jo Anne Butler in Áras Chill Dara and Elaine Reynolds in Donnelly Mirrors factory.

The second focus involves two artists working in a RESEARCH capacity, developing the project from a longer-term perspective. These artists are Dara McGrath and Carl Giffney.

The third and final element of the project culminates in a PUBLICATION that DOCUMENTS and EXPOUNDS upon the work of Transitopia. This publication will be launched in October.
The programme also includes the screening of a classic silent film in Town Hall, Naas, with live music accompaniment. 

The goal of this project is to explore new and innovative approaches for the production and dissemination of contemporary art in alternative contexts. Using non-art spaces, such as civic buildings and industrial facilities as potential spaces for the exploration and presentation of the art activities PARKING METER ARTS LTD aim to reinvigorate an understanding of Naas' everyday cultural dynamics.

Mark Durkan/ Mary Go Gilligan;
Kildare County Council Arts Service; Tel: 045-448318,
Town Hall, Naas, Wed 20th – Sun Sun 24th Aug 2008

Áras Chill Dara
6.30pm, Wed 20th Aug 2008

A classic Silent Film screened, with a musical accompaniment.  Booking Essential
Naas Town Hall
8.30pm, Sat 23rd Aug, Naas Town Hall, 8.00pm. 

Michelle Browne -  Border-Border
The artist offers to transport commuters from Sallins/Naas Train Station to their destination in Naas via a lift on the back of a bicycle.  In exploring the IN-BETWEEN SPACES that exist in our lives, the performance references an informal transportation system in Africa and borders of neighbouring countries.  A unique sound piece created from commuters in New York, London, Galway and Belfast will accompany each participant’s journey.
Sallins/ Naas Train Station.
16.45–19.30, Wed 20th, Thurs 21st, Fri 22nd Aug  

Dominic Thorpe – Terrain
The artist worked closely with an individual commuter to create this artwork. Thorpe sought a local participant when forming his project.  He presents the results of his exchanges with local man Chris O’Neill and his own mimicry of O’Neill’s HABITUAL JOURNEY to work. The work is presented as a video installation.
Kildare County Council Offices/Áras Chill Dara. 
Office opening hours, Thurs 21st – Sat 23rd Aug 

Elaine Reynolds
Reynolds investigates the SECRET LIFE of street lamps and how they relate to the commuting population of Naas.  The work is sited beside a relic of Naas’s industrial past and a main commuter gateway.  The artist creates a heightened experience of an everyday transient moment through a poetic mirrored video projection.
Donnelly Mirrors forecourt
Access from 20.00 – 00.00, Wed 20th – Sun 24th Aug

Joanne Butler – The Folly
The artist’s construction is a witty intervention in the Civic Garden in Naas.  Her scale model housing estate sets up a DELIBERATE TENSION with the oblique lines of the celebrated Áras buildings that is at once both playful and inquisitive.
Civic Garden, Kildare Co.Co. Offices/ Áras Chill Dara 
Wed 20th – Sun 24th Aug

Carl Giffney
Giffney is undertaking a mobile research project on the commuter lines N6, M4, N7 for the Academy of FUTURE HISTORY in conjunction with Parking Meter Arts.  The artist is focusing on the N7 Naas-Dublin road for Transitopia.  Giffney will present current findings at the launch event and in the forthcoming Transitopia publication.
Áras Cill Dara.
6.30pm, Wed 20th Aug

Dara McGrath
McGrath is producing site-specific photographic research in conjunction with Parking Meter Arts, focusing on the documentation of a DISUSED INDUSTRIAL SPACE.  His work will be featured in the forthcoming Transitopia publication.