Obedient City — Exhibition
Photos by Kate Bowe.
Exhibition / 2018
From Obedient City
Obedient City is a visitor centre of the minerals, obstructions and energy of public works. Signs tell you who owns what utility and why you shouldn't poke. Electricity and information flows under the heaving concrete buildings and paths. Vibrations crack and fray each new object. Pebbledashed public monoliths shed their skins. Two snakes meet in an embrace. Neighbours tell on each other and lock up laneways.
New museums spring up to sell experiences and data, in a city losing its material culture. Visitor Centres guide one on the right path, through to the right exit. Tourists must work extra hard to ensure they have taken the right photos. Fast construction uncovers new heritage and rips it out. Tearing, breaking, moulding but constantly updating. Rebuilt pebble dashed walls of Newgrange only serve to further worship public works. The city is triumph and asks only for your obedience in return for living here.
Obedient City or “The Obedience of the Citizens Produces a Happy City” comes from the latin translation of the motto of Dublin City, “Obedientia civium urbis felicitas.” Broadly looking at the architecture and urban planning of North Dublin, where the materials come from, and their effect on its inhabitants, along with the rapid privatisation of public space and the marketing of the City. This exhibition takes the museumification of OPW sites and shows how the true essence of Dublin, one with with three castles ablaze, can be packaged.