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Published on Mar 17, 2012
'Romantic Ireland: From The Streets' is an exhibition of art work hung at Anglo Irish HQ, North Wall Quay, Dublin. Anglo Irish Bank was a central player in the madness that went on in this country. This site is an exceptionally appropriate and evocative symbol of the audacity shown in the previous 20 years and the results of that audacity. We own this building through NAMA therefore no permission need be sought to use it. Nobody sought permission to spend our taxes on private debt.
'September 1913' is a century old acceptable and relevant comment on the effect of greed on the ideals of a nation. On St. Patrick's Day the world is watching us celebrate artistically. It seems appropriate to display an artistic response on this day that shows we're also capable of a bit of reflection.
This exhibition is an artistic response. It is part of a wider ongoing discussion around ideas of sovereignty and nationhood. Was it always like this? Are ordinary people consistently sold a lie for the benefit of a relatively small group of people? It has the potential to establish a starting point for a different discussion on Ireland. Is there a place for idealism? Is it a romantic notion? Is idealism interchangeable with naivety? What does it mean to be Irish? What is the relationship between the economy and being Irish? Or the economy and sovereignty or being Irish and sovereignty? We were in the exact same place 100 years ago. The exhibition is a statement of a few things, one of which is that there are many people who never lost the run of themselves over the course of the economic 'boom'. These people are still here. While the only discussion about Ireland to be heard is about the economy, this exhibition concerns what's best in being Irish -- Creativity, Self reliance, Community.