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Bound ii

Lookup NU author(s): James Davoll


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Bound looks at the Irish border as a liminal space in flux, raising questions about the problematic character of boundaries and their role within contemporary society.During the height of the Troubles, Operation Banner ensured there were fewer than 20 official border crossings. Movement was restricted, unofficial border roads were destroyed, bridges were felled and concrete obstacles were erected. After the Good Friday Agreement, in 2005 Davoll photographed these newly reopened roads. At that time his intention was to show empowering images reconnecting the island and leading to a brighter future. The photographs depicted an alteration that was far reaching. Though a relatively small physical change, it was a monumental one in the everyday lives of the population. There are now more than 200 accessible routes across the border. Many of these crossings having been paid for through the European Union’s regional development fund. Their moto; “Investing in your Future” now feels a little ironic. Bound revisits the Irish border in our current climate, the hope and empowerment these previous photographs referenced is under threat and tainted. With Britain’s recent BREXIT vote the Irish border is once again on the international stage. The island’s newly found free movement has been pulled into question and plans of how the border will look and operate are uncertain. Bound documents these roads to create both a legacy to their open state and to record the apprehension of their future. Capturing the tension and precarious nature these connection routes embody. These roads and bridges have no unique characteristics and are therefor familiar.They could be a road, lane, bridge or motorway from any number of countries. They do however surrender evidence of change. Speed signs morph from mph to kph, Gaelic appears and the road agencies jurisdiction is distinguished byrepeated breaks in the asphalt. The photographs are presented in an animated state of flux. Ambisonic field recordings capture the unique sounds of this liminal space, the people, the tributaries and traffic. These recordings produce a soundscape that correlates with the photographic strain of the project. Both, supporting their stillness and juxtaposing it. No image or sound is ever in sync, the work continually evolves inconstant reinvention, creating unique composites.​James Davoll is a multi-disciplined artist working across digital media, video installation, film, photography and sound. His practice explores specific landscapes asking questions of their contemporary role, relevance and our emotive response to them. His main interests lie in the intersection of the visual and sonic landscape seeking to investigate our complex and contradictory relationship with the natural world. ​

Publication metadata

Artist(s): Davoll J

Publication type: Exhibition

Publication status: Published

Year: 2019

Venue: Allenheads Contemporary Art

Location: Allenheads

Media of Output: Moving Image, Photography and Sound Installation