A body of performance and video work, four years in the making.
Since 2018, Ruth and Niamh have been exploring the impact of American culture on Irish narrative identities. They began this process by walking long abandoned sections of the Western Rail Corridor between Counties Sligo and Limerick. Here, the railway acts as a line of thought, along which ideas of western identity, binary political thinking, power, ecology and ‘Wild West’ film history intersect. Going west is intrinsic to the Irish cultural narrative, from early American settlement through years of emigration. The artists take a long view of these complex tensions between progress and nostalgia, optimism and fear, as they play out both in our immediate present and throughout our history and culture.
Presenting their new short film and accompanying performance, Ruth Clinton and Niamh Moriarty, pursue an ongoing interest in the construction of official and folk records and how they can contribute to a collective sense of possibility or paralysis. Through a process of self-reflexive storytelling, Niamh and Ruth will inhabit narratives of progress and nostalgia, complicity and solidarity, in their search for moments of unrealised potential in Irish history.
Image credit: Ruth Clinton, Niamh Moriarty