This post includes a link which leads to a short explanatory of the Irish Exhibition of living Art, the reason being twofold:
i) The current Irish government has no idea of the importance of cultural expression nor indeed of Irish heritage, this exemplified in the Tara debacle, the cutting of funds to the IWC and the WWC and the current blasphemy debacle. ii). The depts that are up for downgrade or cutting are the Arts Dept and the one charged with Culture and Gaelteacht.
The Link to the IELA from IAR is at the bottom of this piece.
Having no idea therefore of the historical role of government in the Irish Arts, I thought to include this blast from the past because some people in this country do have an idea of the importance of cultural and artistic expression, despite erosion after erosion through funding removals, legislations that corrode the importance of arts; and infrastructure projects that do not take account of preservation within EU and International Directives. The Arts and heritage of cultural and community memory have always be entrusted to those who respect the dialogue between artist and community.
The FF/Green government will be introducing a Blasphemy amendment to the Defamation Bill 2006 which is expected to pass into Irish law on July 10th 2009 under time constraint or guillotine. This risible bit of jigger- pokery is enabled by the overt attack on the independence of the arts by Seán O Donoghue (FF) TD, who in 2003 introduced the Arts Act thereby allowing government interference in the appointment of the Irish Art’s Council Board and in funding decisions, which had already dealt the first blow to Irish Arts.
In 2004 Martin Cullen introduced the NMA which allowed the destruction of National Monuments, and he abolished Dúchas the Heritage Agency leaving Ireland without an implementation body or statutory agency to ensure preservation of architectural or built heritage. There has been a subversive and a-cultural element in the current government since its 12 year reign of power began that is at variance to best practice in terms of protection and conservation. The link below is a reminder of how artists engaged the community with their cultural heritage despite the government’s inability to understand the importance of cultural expression and critique within the state at its foundation.
Unfortunately Irish governments are more concerned in projecting a national stance or image in what they consider to be the best bits of our character as a nation and not recognising the importance of growth and dialogue in the arts, thus creating a fetished ossification of any green shoots that deign to appear or that attempt to confront a national image. This means that those who drive policy do not have a sense of the most basic rudiments of history of cultural expression; but indeed tend to foist their jaundiced and silly fetishes onto an unsuspecting public who will turn out in droves to whatever Hollywood crud is put on in whatever convention centre funded to the hilt by a buddy or crone of a cabinet Minister.
It’s pretty shaming to witness that corrosiveness in terms of the destruction of Tara or the fund cuts to two of three writer’s centres but as the link herein shows its pretty much par for the course to have a bunch of shop-keepers and teachers driving national policy in culturally sensitive areas.
Continence would be preferable.