The Joy of Books and what they get up to when you’re asleep

The charming film below is called The Joy of Books and it inspired me to do a blog post and a little photo project today. Sean and Lisa Ohlenkamp made it by spending“many sleepless nights moving, stacking, and animating books at Type Bookstorein Toronto”. 
They were inspired to make the video after re-organisingtheir bookshelves. After all, books can’t organise themselves…or can they?Maybe they just choose to do other things. I even have photographic evidence of this rare event. It only happens in The 25th Hour in Twilight when Everything isIlluminated
The Horse Whisperer and The Book Thief try toget off with Porno

Hannibalthinks We Need To Talk about Kevin

The Reader is writing Four Letters of Love

Orlandowants to break up with Jane Eyre. Subtlety is not his strong point….

The Crying of Lot 49is so loud it’s driving Rose Madder to violence…

The Girl who kicked the Hornet’s Nest has taken itupon herself to compile a new Schindler’s List

A Short History of Nearly Everything is learning Howto Talk about Books you Haven’t Read


Catch me if you Can!!!”, the books tease. They’re making such a racket I can’t wait for TheHours to pass before dawn. They’re drivingme to Insomnia! The television is all White Noise and the radio offers only TheShipping News. I long for Nightmares and Dreamscapes. At this rate, I’ll behaving Breakfast at Tiffany’s before long…

PS: All the words in italics are book titles from my veryown bookshelves. I wish the books could organise themselves! No books were harmed inthe making of this photo essay. 

Art exhibitions and new gallery in Limerick

The Celtic Zoo
The Celtic Zoo—an exhibition of works by Tom Fitzgerald—is currentlyon display at the Bourn Vincent Gallery in the Foundation Building, Universityof Limerick until February 23.The Limerick native is a former Head of Sculpture at theLimerick Schoolof Art & Design. 
His work practiseincludes drawing, painting, sculpture, installation and temporary environmentalinterventions. Tom has exhibited widely in Irelandand abroad and was elected to Aosdana in 2001. The Celtic Zoo includes 24drawings and five slate wall works. The exhibition of satirical drawingsexplores the rise and fall of the Celtic Tiger.
A Pitch for Shane
A Pitch for Shane—an exhibition of clay figures in memory of murderedGarryowen RFC player, Shane Geoghegan—will be on display in Istabraq Hall, City Hall until the end of January. Inspired by the ancient ‘terracottaarmy’, the initiative involved 21,000 figures being hand-craftedby members of the public all over Irelandand then collected together into a public art installation. The aim of the exhibition,which also includes photographs, is to make an appeal for a safe society, showsolidarity for innocent victims of violence and was an important event in theyear of Limerick’s reign as European City of Sport. 
Shane’s mothersummed up the project saying: “From the day welost Shane, we have being fighting for his memory. Fighting for his memorybecause of the danger that he may be remembered only by the manner of his dying-that would be another tragedy. We, his family, want Shane Geoghegan to beremembered for his life and the way he lived it. He was a contributor. He madeother people’s lives better. His name should continue to remind people of thatwonderful quality.” 
The exhibition will need a new venue/ homeafter that and any suggestions or offers can be made via the website, Istabraq Hall isopen Mon-Fri, 9-5pm.
Occupy Space islaunching a new exhibition, Location, with a preview this Thursday (January 12,7-9pm).It will start officially the day after and run until February 4.The artists include Lisa Flynn, Michele Horrigan, Elaine Reynolds and JonathanSammon. It is curated by Ruth Hogan.
The blurb reads: “Sites, places, locations: everyone has aplace of origin, a locus from where all things begin. Spaces where we interact,live and thrive.  Yet what role does this space play in determining asense of self and how does one negotiate a sense of identity in an unfamiliarenvironment?”
“The phenomenon of ‘psycho-geography’ as defined by theSituationists has been used to describe the practice of spatial engagementwithin natural and urban landscapes. The environment as a reflection of the self,it’s influences on perception and how it comes to effect and characteriseemotional and mental states becomes the narrative for this exhibition.”
‘People can see nothing around them that is not their ownimage; everything speaks to them of themselves. Their very landscape isanimated.” –Guy Debord, On the Passage of a Few Persons Through a Rather BriefUnity of Time.
For more information, see;opening times are Wed-Fri, 1-5pm
Sadhbh Lyons Art Gallery
Limerick is on its well on its way tobecoming the art gallery capital of Irelandwith another new addition thanks to the good people at Creative Limerick. Thescheme allows vacant retail spaces to be used for creative endeavours; it takesaway the literal and metaphorical emptiness of the city!
The Sadhbh Lyons Art Galleryis on Bedford Row, next to Limerick Travel. It exhibits paintings by selftaught local artist, Sadhbh Lyons as well as photography by her son, Eoghan.There are also photographs by Mark Lyons and pieces by wood-turner, Barry Lewison display. It aims to offer affordable art and photography—ideal for giftsetc. I’m nearly sure I went to secondary school with Eoghan (but even if I didn’t ha ha),I wish himself and his mother the very best of luck with the venture. Thegallery opens Tues-Sat 10am-5pm andSun 2-5pm.
For more details see,

Is the world’s most expensive photo overrated?

Look at this photograph closely. It’s called Rhein II byAndreas Gursky. Now, guess how much it’s worth or rather, what someone paid forit in an auction?
Rhein II
The actual number is $4.3 million, or €3.2 million. Now payingthat amount FOR A F**KING PHOTOGRAPH is crass enough. But to add insult toinjury, it’s not exactly eye-catching or heartbreaking or executed withextraordinary skill. It is big—80×140 inches, but they say size doesn’t matter. My first impression wasthat it has very strong lines but it’s still only a picture of a river on adull day. It is, allegedly, the photographer’s favourite photo and “an allegorical pictureabout the meaning of life and how things are”. I think it shouldhave been called The emperor’s new clothes.
Untitled #69
Florence Waters in The Daily Telegraph said “his image is a vibrant,beautiful and memorable – I should say unforgettable – contemporary twist on Germany’s famed genre andfavourite theme: the romantic landscape, and man’s relationship with nature”. Really?!Maeve Kennedy in The Guardian said it was a “sludgy image of desolate, featureless landscape”.Guess which one I agree with?
It has ousted the previous record holder, Cindy Sherman’s Untitled#96, which sold for $3.89 million price point last May. I think this photograph is 10 timesmore appealing…still not €2.3 million good, but slightly better.
White Center
It reminded me of when I saw the painting, White Center, by Mark Rothko. It was besidea news item explaining how the painting had been sold for $73 million (€55million). Granted, it’s contemporary, simple and colourful. I like Rothko’swork but is it €55 million good?!

No. 5
Incidentally, the world’s most expensive painting at the minute is called No. 5, 1948 by Jackson Pollock and it set some crazy art lover back $140 million, or a cool €105 million smackers. Any painting by Pollock is sought after and he has some fine work. I like his frenetic and vibrant style BUT on the other hand, if I didn’t know the artist and you told me a five year old had painted this, I’d have believed you. You’re essentially paying over €100 million for an autograph. 

It’s hard to put a monetary value on art and hard to quantify an individual emotional reaction to a piece of art. But there’s a global recession on, for everyone except art dealers ha ha. I can’t help thinking €3.2 million would go a long way toward oh, around 3.2 million things A LOT more meaningful than a photograph. It’s like Nero fiddling while (a photograph of) Rome burns.
PS: If you like photographs, Time Magazine released its Top 10 Photos of the Year here