“This issue regarding Mute Meadow resides with Ilex.”

Apparently, there’s a problem with the £800,000 public artwork, “Mute Meadow“, in Londonderry.  Although it’s not entirely clear what the “issue” actually is.  It was supposed to have been ‘switched on’ on 25 June 2011.

The permanent public installation, designed by Vong Phaophanit and Claire Oboussier, was announced as the winner of the Foyle Public Arts Project in 2009.

From the BBC report

Vong Phaophanit, Turner prize nominee and his co-creator, Claire Oboussier, have commented on the issue.

“‘The protracted process in resolving the issues associated with the fabrication of the work concerns us deeply and we are as distressed and disappointed as everyone else that the work is not yet fully operational.

“The reasons for this are complex and beyond our personal and professional control.”

They said they will cooperate with Ilex, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Derry City Council and all relevant parties.

They are confident that a resolution will soon be reached.

The visual arts officer for Derry City Council, Brendan McMenamin, said although he is not directly involved with the issue, he hopes Mute Meadow will soon be lit up.

“We are better to get things correct and have it operational.

“This issue regarding Mute Meadow resides with Ilex.

“People are working extremely hard to resolve it and they hopefully will,” he said.

Well, it is supposed to “reflect the spirit, creativity, history and diversity of this city and its people”.  [A resounding success already then?! – Ed]  It could be worse…

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  • cynic2

    Its Derry!!!!

    A lot of people don’t want any light cast on what goes on there

  • Drumlins Rock

    ugg. keep it off.

  • Pete Baker

    I’m not sure the lights are the problem.

    The artists have an image on their website dated 25 June 2011, with the lights on.

    On the other hand, there is an additional element

    It is with this in mind that we collaborated with the Verbal Arts Centre in order to look at ways in which ‘Mute Meadow’ might engage with the city of Derry and its citizens in a real way by developing channels of connection between work and place where the inhabitants of Derry become engaged in a process of production of meaning for the work. A range of specific groups within the community have been brought in to produce sound based data (verbal and musical) which is to be fed into the piece itself via specially tailored software to create a unique flux of light:

  • wild turkey

    “It is with this in mind that we collaborated with the Verbal Arts Centre in order to look at ways in which ‘Mute Meadow’ might engage with the city of Derry and its citizens in a real way by developing channels of connection between work and place where the inhabitants of Derry become engaged in a process of production of meaning for the work. A range of specific groups within the community have been brought in to produce sound based data (verbal and musical) which is to be fed into the piece itself via specially tailored software to create a unique flux of light:”

    thanks, that clarifies the ‘issue’.

    can anyone possibly
    1. give a plain english translation of the above
    2. some background on who ‘specific groups within the community’ were selected for input.

    many thanks

    Phil E Stein

  • cynic2

    How does one capture a whine in flashes of light? Does it spell out ‘it was the urns fault’?

  • sonofstrongbow

    Allegedly the piece was seen to be too open to viewers to draw their own interpretation of what it was trying to convey. Some ‘groups’ seem to feel that it needed to be more pointed and act as a testament/ requiem to the city’s ‘suffering’.

    I’ll artistically leave it open to others to reflect on the particulars of the ‘suffering’ that is felt by some that needs to be highlighted.

  • Drumlins Rock

    it conveys suffering, to my eyeballs, please spare the ears.

  • cynic2

    Does it name names on who caused the suffering?

  • sonofstrongbow

    Couldn’t possibly say. However my dosh is on the Wolf Tones to write the score 😉

  • “it is supposed to “reflect the spirit, creativity, history and diversity of this city and its people””

    The then Minister seems to have been misinformed:

    ‘Mute Meadow’ encourages and generates critical debate in a non-didactic way: the concept of the work itself is ‘counter-narrative’ aiming to function as a precursor to and producer of ‘new meaning’ rather than as a repository of ‘old meaning’.

    The artists’ artistic recent counter-narrative endeavours in Weymouth have generated some critical comment:

    “Useless, bring back our fairy lights” was one reaction from a group who ventured out in wind and rain to see the display on Thursday night.” [7 June 2012]

  • Pete Baker

    A tree! A tree!

    *shakes head*

    Guys,

    Focus.

    You’re not being asked for a critical assessment of the artwork.

    sonof

    “Allegedly”? According to whom? Beyond your reliable self, of course.

  • galloglaigh

    Never mind playing the man, but a whole city. Cynic2 and sos, you do enough whinging on Slugger for the whole of Ireland. You two get away with far too much.

    The Mute Meadow isn’t the only thing Ilex hasn’t turned on. They have two blue half bridges known as ‘The Third Bridge’. One’s near Prehen boat house, the other directly across the Foyle. They are supposed to be linked at night by a light beam. They don’t light up. They’re also supposed to have a Beacon shining from Gransha. That doesn’t work.

    Ilex are proving a lot of people in the city right: They are wasting money (sometimes spending without consent), and are an obstacle to the UK City of Culture event being as successful as it can be. I put the UK bit in to stop the above mentioned from whinging!

    Ilex need to realise, that the city needs the money. What it doesn’t need is bits of steel coming out of the ground, which don’t work, and which cost £800,000 (that’s fucking shocking sorry for the language). That amount of money could have gone a long way to giving employment, in areas where it’s needed. Or developing the river-front, so that future investment might happen quicker if that’s in place. Not bits of steel you can buy in Corry’s Scrapyard!

  • Pete Baker

    galloglaigh

    “Ilex are proving a lot of people in the city right: They are wasting money (sometimes spending without consent), and are an obstacle to the UK City of Culture event being as successful as it can be. I put the UK bit in to stop the above mentioned from whinging!

    Ilex need to realise, that the city needs the money. What it doesn’t need is bits of steel coming out of the ground, which don’t work, and which cost £800,000”

    Seems a bit unfair to blame Ilex for the spending of the £4 million challenge fund for the development of the arts/cultural sector in the Derry City Council area. Given the eagerness of politicians to own the investment involved.

  • Mister Joe

    I know absolutely nothing about this installation but public art is important generally. It can, should, lift our spirits. It’s silly to say that it is money wasted; we spend our public funds in many ways. To say that we could have created a certain number of jobs for the same money is to ignore reality. What jobs?

  • “It was supposed to have been ‘switched on’ on 25 June 2011.”

    It was [UTV]

  • galloglaigh

    Seriously, have you seen this ‘Art’? It’s steel girders pointing out of the ground. It looks like plies driven to support a structure. £800,000 on steel girders are a waste of money. The city has many small engineering firms, who could have done it for a few thousand.

    The jobs could have been construction of a marina; much needed park and litter wardens (the city’s parks are mingin), apprenticeships etc, etc.. The city was not asked about this waste of money, and what ever about politicians, it’s Ilex who are wasting the money. Look at Fort George. Nothing happening there. Ilex did a survey. Then when they found contaminants, they tried to squeeze the rate payers to clean it up. They’re a joke…

    Rant over!

  • sonofstrongbow

    Pete Baker,

    “”Allegedly”? According to whom? Beyond your reliable self, of course”. I’ll ignore the implied insult and just say two sources, both local to Londonderry. One working in the ‘arts’ sector, the other in business and both keen to promote the city (and only of whom is tainted with the Mark of Calvin).

    If you think for one moment I’m going to name names you’re obviously deluded and know nothing of the lurking menace that exists just below, and sometimes above, the surface of society on the banks of the Foyle.

    Dismiss my comments if you will. I assure you it matters nought to me.

    galloglaigh,

    Your comments, from someone who begins: “Never mind playing the man……” and then goes on to post a piece consisting purely of man-playing, and indeed Quango playing, is beyond funny.

    It may interest you to learn that ‘hypocritical’ is not a medical condition for degeneration of the upper leg bones. Look it up.

  • galloglaigh

    My comments are in context with the thread. Yours aren’t. Yours are man playing. Something you do a lot, and get away with a lot!

    Dry yer eyes…

  • cynic2

    An everyday story of Derry folk

  • “the lurking menace that exists just below, and sometimes above, the surface of society on the banks of the Foyle”

    That’s a point that needs making and repeating, sonofstrongbow. Sadly, the menace is fairly widespread; the details cannot be specified in a public forum. Hopefully, the reason(s) for the delay are not linked to any such menace.