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PUBLIC GESTURE: AN EXPLORATION OF PRACTICE-LED RESEARCH
public-gesture‘We Are For You Because We Are Against Them’, a performative installation by artist Noëmi Lakmaier and curated by Liz Burns as part of the Public Gesture exhibition, will take place on Tuesday, June 9 at The LAB, Foley Street, Dublin 1
‘We Are For You Because We Are Against Them’ invites the public to take on the role of voyeur, and observe an elaborately staged dinner party. Eight pre-selected volunteer diners will participate in this public gesture, which combines both elements of the uncanny and absurd. A normally private dinner party becomes the object of the public gaze.
This installation, developed specifically for the LAB, is an extension of artist Noëmi Lakmaier’s earlier work titled ‘Exercise in Losing Control’ performed in 2007. This piece involved the artist wedging herself into a ‘weeble’ – a bright yellow ball 55cm in diameter for over two hours in the gallery space. Inspired by the child’s toy marketed during the 1970s with the slogan ‘weebles wobble but they don’t fall down’, this work highlighted central concerns of the artist’s practice around issues of control and power and how we assert and relinquish both. A sense of the absurd coupled with what the artist terms her ‘tendency towards dangerous behaviour’ is evident in the work, where power shifted uncomfortably from the artist to the spectators in the gallery, who were invited to interact with the piece.
Now ‘We Are For You Because We Are Against Them’ invites eight pre-selected volunteers to partake in a new type of public gesture, where they are simultaneously participants within a private dinner party as well as objects of the public gaze. Notions of ‘we’, ‘them’ and ‘other’ shift across the registers of both the personal and political.
For further information go to www.firestation.ie, www.adiarts.ie or www.mavis.ie/publicgesture.

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION
The Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) has announced its Human Rights Film School Competition Shortlist. Jury members filmmakers Jim and Kirsten Sheridan and Irish Film Board Chair James Morris announced the shortlist of six films at a photocall at the ICCL’s Smithfield headquarters. The films represent the cream of entries to the inaugural ICCL competition.
“Film is a very powerful tool for making human rights issues visible, engaging and widely heard,” said Kirsten Sheridan. “This shortlist, which covers a range of topics and genres demonstrates this in an outstanding way. I and my fellow jury members look forward to deliberating on this excellent shortlist and to announcing the winning film at Light House Cinema in Dublin on June 11. Each film, however, is already a winner for having made it this far in a very tough competition.”
ICCL Director Mr. Mark Kelly added: “Human rights are universal and indivisible, but all too often remain invisible. Filmmakers are particularly well-placed to effectively cast a spotlight on human rights issues, rendering them visible and meaningful to a wider audience. The ICCL is delighted to offer this creative space for filmmakers to apply their talents to raising awareness of the failure to respect the rights of vulnerable and disadvantaged people. We look forward to showcasing the shortlist at Light House Cinema in Dublin on June 11.”
The shortlist is now available to view online on the competition website at www.humanrightsfilmschool.org and through www.vimeo.com/iccl. It is also being put to a public vote via Doodle Poll, www.doodle.com.

IRISH HUNTING ON EBAY
A European wide study reveals that the Irish are the most value savvy in their hunt for stay at home beauty treatments and frugal fashion. The credit crunch doesn’t seem to have put paid to Ireland’s shopping spirits, according to new Europe wide research by eBay, the world’s largest online marketplace. Findings show that the Irish are speeding past their European neighbours in their pursuit of bargains on eBay.ie and are the clear leaders in the growing online shopping trends of stay at home beauty treatments, frugal shopping and back garden entertaining.
The study has identified three key shopping trends in Europe: stay at home pampering, frugal shopping and back to our roots. It would seem that we are intending on spending far more time in our gardens this year as sales of weed and pest control have risen by 96 per cent. In what appears to be a move to spending more time entertaining in the back garden, sales of garden lighting have lit up by 65 per cent.
“With the demise of the Celtic Tiger, the Irish have become increasingly value conscious,” said Carey Maguire from eBay. “However, they clearly don’t want to discard any of life’s little luxuries and are increasingly looking to sites such as eBay.ie for some self service satisfaction. Looking at these statistics, it is clear to see that the Irish shopper is streets ahead of their European counterparts when it comes to getting the biggest bang for their buck, be it for pampering at home, buying some fabulous clothes or entertaining out back. In fact, us Irish are so value hungry that since the budget announcement in April, listings have risen by over 19 per cent.”

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