TEMPLE BAR -- Both Tim Kirby and I enjoy the visual culture of Temple Bar. We meet in Central Percs and trade stories, some recalling the buzz of the streets in the era of the Celtic Tiger. Alongside that exuberant period, artists tumbled out of their bedsits and onto new media courses that we ran in Arthouse. That venue is a sad shell of itself now, lending weight to the claim that Temple Bar's visual culture has eroded. Perhaps it has. It would take a month of Thursday evenings (the time reserved for opening exhibitions) to actually measure the pulse of the visual culture. But the fact is that many of Temple Bar's arts buildings have lost their cultural status. The Design Yard, Arthouse, and the Viking Centre--all benefited from millions of pounds from EU injections--had to retain their cultural designations for a minimum of 10 years. They didn't because they were rolled up by their boards of directors.
Inside Temple Bar Gallery and Studios, a fresh dynamic is percolating in Studio 6. Artists, curators and critics meet every Friday on a journey to the heartland of Irish Visual Arts Practises. I'm immersed as well and can see clearly the realm where the text I create intersects the visual world that forms such a vital part of our culture. The experience of working alongside practising artists causes me to remember the heady days of the late-90s. It would be good to rekindle that creative spark in the visual culture of Temple Bar.
Sent mail2blog using Nokia Communicator O2 Typepad services from Central Percs.
George Baker -- "Round Table: The Present Conditions of Art Criticism" in October, Spring 2002.
And wait there's more! -- Media Trips in search of visual culture.