The Parish is a video installation and a discursive space for considering the unique place that the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), and its affiliated organisations such as the Ladies Gaelic Football Association (LGFA) have in Irish society.
Few institutions embody Irish rural life like the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), founded in 1884. Today it’s an organisation firmly at the heart of countless rural (and non-rural) communities, especially visible in the countryside. Artist-filmmaker Michael Holly’s new work, The Parish, was made over three years at Clonakilty GAA in Co. Cork, home of the local club and the Ladies Gaelic Football Association.
“For three years I closely interacted with the regular activities” he explains, “recording footage and sound using principles of ethnographic filmmaking, encompassing and representing the scope of a GAA club as a uniquely Irish community organisation. I documented a huge range of activities, including sporting activities (training, games etc.) as well as social events, fundraising events, a funeral, ceremonies and religious services.”
Michael Holly is an Irish Research Council funded PhD candidate in Film & Screen Media at University College Cork, where he is developing a practice-based study on participatory documentary filmmaking. Michael has exhibited widely as a video, sound and installation artist, in parafictional and documentary investigations into cultural, national and local identities. His research interests focus on the intersection of contemporary art and non-fiction film and new technologies and strategies in participatory filmmaking.
(text by Anne Mullee)