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Guest: The Prehistory of The Crisis ll

During the summer of 2009 artist Anthony Haughey invited people living or visiting Dublin and Belfast to respond to urgent questions connected to the ‘global crisis’. In particular, what are the cultural implications of the crisis for Ireland’s migrant communities?

Commissioned by Project Arts Centre for the exhibition, The Prehistory of the Crisis ll simultaneously exhibited in Belfast Exposed Gallery, the piece was an installation and participatory video produced in both gallery spaces throughout the duration of the exhibition in Dublin and Belfast. Participants were invited to play multiple roles, as set builders, ‘performers’ and film crew. Following filming in each gallery, the subsequent footage was continually added to the installation space, generating a ‘living archive’. The work invoked Brecht’s notion of the Fourth Wall collapsing the space between the performance and the audience. The living room installation was both a theatrical stage for ‘performing’ and filming and a participatory exhibition space where the audience was invited on to the ‘stage’ as guests, to engage with the attitudes, positions and actions of the social actors screened on a domestic television monitor. By accepting this open invitation the audience became part of the performance, implicated in the conversation and placed in a situation to consider their own relationship to the Other.