Irish Times DownstairsDublin presents
Last year DownstairsDublin saw Merrion Square coming to colourful life for Culture Night with art, music, Ireland’s smallest cinema, fashion shows, talks, a magical garden, a mini rave and even a pop up dine in the dark restaurant – all in the basements of the Square’s beautiful buildings.
This year expect an even bigger event as The Irish Times are once again curating and creating talks, architectural experiences, installations, foodie fun, gardens, a give-away library, projections, interviews at the Irish Architectural Archive, art at the ESB, illuminations at the French Embassy, Opera at the Merrion Hotel, and many more pop up events for a truly unique experience in the heart of Georgian Dublin.
No 7 Foras Na Gaeilge
An Gáirdín le Fionnuala Fallon
Athshamhlaigh an Ghaeilge linn Oíche Chultúir – Re-imagine Gaeilge with us on Culture Night – plandaí dúchasacha, scannánaíocht, scéalaíocht, comhrá agus tuilleadh ag Foras na Gaeilge 7 Cearnóg Mhuirfean.
Horticulturist, garden writer and garden designer Fionnuala Fallon is the gardening correspondent for The Irish Times.
No 8 Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI)
Unearth – Nós Workshop
Emerging from its subterranean context, Unearth is an exposure of a building’s structural core and the architectural design process, elements which often remain concealed, yet which are essential to the building’s form and occupation. Its grid-like language is also reminiscent of a large bookcase, an acknowledgement of the RIAI bookshop occupying the internal space of no. 8 Merrion Square.
No 16 Red Cross Building – The Perfect Wagner Rite (2015) by Aoibheann Greenan
Irish artist Aoibheann Greenan made this piece in response to George Bernard Shaw’s 1898 commentary on Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen: ‘The Perfect Wagnerite’. Shaw interprets the Ring – Wagner’s epic nineteenth-century operatic tetralogy – in Marxian terms, as an allegory of the collapse of capitalism from its internal
contradictions. It parodies the contemporary relationship between authority and interpretation.
No 22 College of Anaesthetists – Dublin: Past, Present and Future Screening – Architecture Film Competition Winners.
See the past present and future of Dublin with archive footage plus the shortlisted entries from The Irish Times/ Irish Architecture Foundation Imagine the Future competition.
With special thanks to the Irish Architecture Foundation, StormLight Films, and The Irish Times Video Archive.
No 27 Brendan Vacations – Simoniacs (2015) by Elaine Byrne
Simony is the making of profit out of sacred things. In Dante’s poem The Divine Comedy (1300) the Simoniacs are damned to the 8th circle of the Inferno inserted upside down into the ground – ‘stuck like a pole into the ground’. Using only articles and images of people and organisations who have profited out of sacred things, the artwork consists of several sculptures of Simoniacs with their head in the ground and legs flaying in the air. Irish artist Elaine Byrne has recently returned from participating in the Whitney Program, New York.
These Basements Could Change Your Life
Drop into Nos 39 to 42 Merrion Square and come out rejuvinated, refreshed and even emotionally restored…
No 39 ESB – Morning Gloryville
Revitalise and take time out to help yourself reconnect at this once off pop-up Morning Gloryville! Expect full on energetic dancing, powerful MCs, festival DJ’s, performers, yoga and massage: open to all ages and people of all sorts. Dress code? Whatever you’re wearing.
No 40 ESB – Boxercise with Underdog Boxing
Underdog – The real boxing experience! Box with certified boxing coaches and competing boxers for short sharp burst of exercise!
No 41 ESB – De-stress on the Square
Five minutes to help you unwind. Post boxercise or just after your busy day, massage therapist Maria (purveyor of beauty therapies and anti-ageing treatments in the heart of Dublin) eases out the knots in a five minute session.
No 41 ESB – The Poetry Therapists
Proving poetry really is life changing, we team up with Poetry Ireland to provide the lines to soothe your soul. A five-minute session is all you need, with Enda Wyley, Geraldine Byrne and more.
Finale event at 9pm from the one and only Gary Jermyn, a poet who believes in the curative powers of fantasy, with off-beat shows that have wowed audiences from the Baltic to the Atlantic.
No 45 Irish Architectural Archive – The Irish Times Chat Show
Chats with hacks, as your favourite Irish Times journalists take the stage.
Plus music with ESB Feis Ceoil winners 2015 including Vocal Trio: Olivia Sheehy, Emily Davis and Eimear Harper; Classical Guitar: Eoghan Doody; Concert Harp: Ruth O’Hara; and Cello: Jayden Lamcellari
No 45 Irish Architectural Archive – National Print Museum Pop-Up Print Studio
Unique in Ireland and Britain, the National Print Museum lets you discover the traditional craft of letterpress printing. Come on down to the special pop-up print shop and print your very own Culture Night poster! (Suitable for all ages).
No 29 ESB Museum – Meet the Púca
The Púca, a mythical Celtic Creature, was believed to be a shapeshifter who could take the form of a rabbit or a horse – among others. It is depicted here as a giant psychedelic serpent: is he bringing good or bad fortune? You decide!
No 56 Louise Kennedy – Louise Kennedy
Showcasing key pieces from the studio of leading Irish and International designer, Louise Kennedy, in a special DownstairsDublin display
No 58 Notre Dame – Everyone Knows a Horse Sculpture, No 1 by Nevan Lahart
Irish artist, with an international reputation, Nevan Lahart’s cardboard horse sculpture gets closer to its original home, which may well have been in one of the mews houses to the rear of the grand façades of this Georgian Square. Once the streets would have resounded to the sounds of hoofbeats.
No 63 Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland – Soundbites With food by Aoife McElwain/Forkful
Meet, eat, shoot the breeze. A food experience with a difference where, along with your snack we serve you, and an unknown dining companion, a soupçon of conversation, a sprinkle of questions and a splash of fun. Sure to leave a perfect aftertaste.
No 64 Physio 64 – Hard Working Class Heroes at Culture Night
A cross genre snapshot of some of the new acts showcasing at Hard Working Class Heroes on October 1st – 3rd, including Bagels; 13; Staring At Lakes; Patrick Freeman and AikJ.
No 66 French Embassy – Urban Lights Contacts Presented by the French Embassy in Ireland
Artists: Scenocosme : Grégory Lasserre & Anaïs met den Ancxt
Celebrating the relocation of the French Embassy to Merrion Square, and its commitment to the cultural liveliness of the neighbourhood, this interactive sound and light installation is transformed by touch. Changing with every additional human touch, each one generates new sounds and lights. What you see and hear evolves through our relationships with one other.
Coproduction : Centre des Arts d’Enghien-les-Bains, Scène conventionnée pour les écritures numériques
No 70 The Arts Council – Wow and Flutter (2013) By Jenny Brady
A portrait of a magnificent bird draws on the 30-year relationship between animal cognition scientist Irene Pepperberg and the African grey parrot she trained in elements of human language. The film features a score made in collaboration with musician Andrew Fogarty, using a mixture of field recordings, electronics and found material to conjure a unique sound world.
From the Collection of the Arts Council of Ireland, with thanks to the artist, and to The Arts Council of Ireland.
No 73 Irish Traditional Music Archive – Picture Books Library and Cartoon Studio
Irish Times Librarian Martin Doyle sets tricky questions. Answer him correctly to get your free mystery book!
Plus meet illustrator and designer Aoife Dooley, best known for her sweet and innocent illustrations, captioned and brought to life by the type of humour one can only accumulate from years of living on the Northside of Dublin.
No 89 National Gallery – Discover the National Gallery outside at DownstairsDublin
then visit the Reading Room inside
Walk through a field of lilies inspired by Walter Osbourne’s A Cottage Garden to discover a larger than life sized installation of National Gallery treasure and Ireland’s favourite painting, Frederic William Burton’s The Meeting on the Turret Stairs, before finding out more about the National Gallery and the lives of the artists in its collection at the Reading Room, which will be specially open on the night.
Merrion Hotel – Appetisers and Arias at The Merrion
Enjoy Italian arias and the tastiest of treats, as the Merrion Hotel celebrates Culture Night with The Irish Times DownstairsDublin, and lays on an array of musical interludes with delicious food. Taking place on the street outside the Cellar Bar entrance at the Merrion, watch out for our Soprano and Tenor, who will appear during the course of the evening to serenade the arrival of platters of Italy-inspired canapés. Then why not round off your Culture Night evening with a special Culture Night Cocktail in the Cellar Bar? Enjoy.
Explore the Square and look down to discover the past, present and future of the city with some famous faces and wonderful surprises for all ages guaranteed.
DownstairsDublin is organised by The Irish Times in association with the Merrion Square Innovation Network, and with support from Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Dublin City Council and The ESB.