Askeaton Contemporary Arts
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Smilde, in his initial research on Askeaton, looked up Askeaton in Google Street View and was directed to Askeaton, Wisconsin, USA. He then transposed the first building he saw in the American Askeaton to Ireland, with a life size
photo of a barn installed on the way into the town. The artist hoped that when Google come to photograph the
original town of Askeaton, this image will be picked up, and the building will simultaneously exist in both Askeatons.
In the end, Smilde' sculpture was captured and today still appears on Google Street View.
Duggan made two new artworks in Askeaton,
entitled Skyscraper and Gold Boulder.
Much speculative discussion revolved around
these artworks as a model for a future
building development and plaza with public
sculpture, located somewhere around Askeaton.
Dodds operated ASK FM, a pirate radio station broadcasting from a secret venue in the town.
It featured recordings and interviews with local musicians and individuals who are involved in local community structures such as Askeaton Civic Trust and local Credit Union. The artwork resonated the potential talents, ambitions and micro-politics of the town, allowing participants not just a platform but also a form of gentle subjectivity and subtle validation for their activities.
Jitrik spent time making a small painting that, according to curator Adriano Pedrosa, “is a splendid abstract geometric composition, one can see the same mosaic of multicoloured slanted rectangles forming a larger, again not so orthogonal square, which in turn is intersected by a trapezoid figure, offering a feast for the formal connoisseur.” With such praise, Jitrik’s work could be considered akin to a Mondrian or a work of Russian Constructivism. Yet, she subtly shifts these expectations of her work away to another discursive platform, as a video details the painting’s growth and development from a blank canvas to a completed artwork, accompanied by a soundtrack by Jitrik’s band, Orquestra Roja (Red Orchestra). In another moment, the painting appears in the ruins of a local Franciscan Abbey, almost as an apparition amongst gravestones and medieval stone carvings, urgently captured in photographs and video excerpts. The piece later featured in 2011's Istanbul Biennial, and can be viewed here
Manifold produced a video based around stories, myths and recollections around
Askeaton of ghost horses and carriages haunting families on lonely country roads.
A revival of the local folk game Donkeypatch occured as part of the artists stay in Askeaton. The game was likely brought from County Mayo in the 1970s when many workmen moved to Askeaton in the construction of the Aughinish Alumina plant, then europe's largest building site. In Askeaton, the local tennis court was divided into 200 squares, tickets for each square were sold locally before two donkeys were introduced to the court. Whatever square the donkey does his business on first is the winner of the cash prize bonanza.