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Contemporary Irish Architecture Celebrated in New Exhibition

9 October 2017 - New York-based artist Mark Orange has collaborated with renowned Irish architecture firm McCullough Mulvin to create an innovative exhibition which celebrates the best of Irish architecture.

Lady Dufferin, Marchioness of Dufferin and Ava

Taking place across five venues in central Dublin, from September 22nd to October 14th, McCullough Mulvin Orange is a multi site-specific art project which sees the artist collaborating directly with architect Niall McCullough.

McCullough Mulvin designed the building which is now home to the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Institute in Trinity College Dublin’s historic Fellows Square. ‘Architecture & Motility,' 2017 is the art exhibition taking place at the research institute as part of the larger city-wide exhibition.

The sounds of architect Niall McCullough's stomach were recorded using a custom-designed belt with four embedded contact microphones, as he ate breakfast at the building which was designed by the firm. The recordings are played back as a four-channel installation through speakers located on two levels of the atrium space at the Trinity Long Room Hub with the idea of replicating the layout of the microphones during the recording and acting as ‘a pun on the notion of plumbing – the body’s plumbing and the building’s plumbing.’

Mark Orange is currently artist in residence at the Trinity Long Room Hub and has spoken about the concept behind this new series of exhibitions. ‘I’m interested in the absence of the architect in conspicuously designed spaces. The central idea is to bring the architect back to the spaces he or his firm has designed.’

It is clear that Mark has great admiration for the architects as part of the generation that started out working on the Temple Bar Framework Plan in the early 1990s, and being a key part of the group that put forward the successful proposal for the redevelopment of Temple Bar. ‘They’re very central to the amazing boom that’s been happening in Irish architecture over the last 20 years. All of the pieces are being shown in McCullough Mulvin buildings and also address those buildings specifically – each piece is specifically made according to the building.’

Mark Orange

'When we move around within architectural spaces that have a strong stamp of their designers, we often have a sense of their presence almost directing us through that space', says Mark.  'With this project I’m trying to do something different; to bring back the architect to these spaces but with a sense of intimacy or dissonance that shakes the model for architectural discourse. It’s meant to be playful and certainly has slapstick elements to it.’

‘This piece is about trying to create an integration between building fabric and the architect’s body. The clean lines and clean surfaces of modernism were facilitated through modern plumbing, allowing you to take the ‘unsavoury’ processes of the building and clean them up or put them to the side or take them out of the visual space. This is a playful reversal of that in exposing the architect’s plumbing; it is perhaps distasteful but hopefully also curious and intriguing.’

Mark is originally from Belfast where he worked with an artist-run organisation called Catalyst Arts during his early work as an artist and from which he developed an interest in architecture and power relationships as presented through urban spaces. ‘The idea of the master builder persists as an image within our culture – so I’m interested in looking at that and playing with it.’

He has since made a number of short film pieces that address architectural sites in New York, where he is now based. Although he now sees Belfast very much as an outsider, he is impressed by the scale of change he has witnessed in a city once absorbed by conflict. ‘I’ve had the opportunity to make work there a couple of times in the last few years and have really enjoyed being there; the proliferation of development but also of cultural activity has been amazing to see.’

Marking 20 years of McCullough Mulvin architecture, other venues included in the exhibition in Dublin include the Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, the Ussher Library, Trinity College Dublin, and the Irish Architecture Foundation, Bachelors Walk.

The exhibition at the Trinity Long Room Hub is open to the public from Tuesday through to Saturday from 11:00 to 18:00. Further details available here.

To visit the exhibition website, please click here.


Contact: Aoife King, Communications Officer | Trinity Long Room Hub | aoife.king@tcd.ie | 01 896 3895

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