To give an idea of where this blog is coming from, please feel free to peruse the About page; but in summary:
I’ve circulated an email along the following lines to some people who might be able to help organise a collective, public response:
Most (if not all) of you may be aware of both the outrageous transition of the Brian Cowen paintings palaver from mild satire to sinister abuse of State powers and functions (government and Gardaí); and of the subsequent dismay and anger aired by huge numbers of Irish people online (in blogs, message boards, on Twitter, etc.).
This evening, I suggested that perhaps one response to the affair may be for a public exhibition (or, after some thought, several simultaneous exhibitions, depending on numbers of submissions) of works, by the public, in a similar vein: How about a group exhibition, with works by anyone and everyone, at somewhere like thisisnotashop gallery / seomra spraoi / The Joinery / the Smithfield Gallery / Butcher Queers mag and anyone else (if they’ll have us)?
(Also, it seems that http://www.picturegate.eu is available..)
Not only is the action of the Irish authorities a disturbing development, but personally I view it as part of a creeping trend: from removing the rights of Irish citizens, to effectively halting the work of the country’s equality and human rights bodies, to give just a couple of examples. Now, we have the Constitutional (and international) right to free speech has been curtailed utterly disproportionately and without justification.
Who among us will be next?
This is just an idea. If there’s interest in this idea, however, I wonder whether it would be possible to work quickly to gather submissions for exhibition(s) before momentum on this story slows (within days? Weeks?).
We need to tell the likes of Brian Cowen and his government colleagues that our Taoiseach cannot say, “L’état c’est moi”: L’état c’est nous!
It doesn’t need to be located in just one place; it doesn’t need to be in just one format, by just one group of people. Let’s all respond in our own, noticeable ways. Let this just be the start.
Contact: Fústar at Fústar or myself at clickhere [at] gaelick [dot] com