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Projection (Baton Charge 1913) is based an single photograph made by Joseph Cashman (1881 – 1969) during the labour dispute known as the Dublin Lockout in 1913. Taken from a elevated point of view, Cashman’s image depicts members of the Dublin Metropolitan Police baton charge a large crowd attending a protest meeting to be addressed by trade union leader Jim Larkin on O’Connell Street on 31 August 1913. Larkin was arrested and two people were killed during the riots that followed. This photograph (along with second photograph by Cashman of Larkin addressing a crown with outstretched arms) dominates the iconography of this historical event, and the occasion of its centenary in 2013. Projection (Baton Charge 1913) was exhibited in group exhibition ‘Exiles’ curated by Alison Pilkington, at the Lab Gallery Dublin, organised in response to the centenary of the 1913 Lockout.
Projection (Baton Charge 1913) consists of a sequence of projected 35mm slides showing detailed enlargements of the photograph to various degrees, and at times to the point of abstraction or obliteration. The sequence of images push and pull between figure and ground, between individual and the collective mass, between analogue grain and digital pixel, between closeness and distance.
Over and between these images two voices ‘off screen’ conduct an ambiguous dialogue. The fragmentary utterances of an alternate male and female voice address both the images and each other – an exchange that is a conflation of visual metaphors, references to the photographic apparatus, subjective and historical processes, and attempts to ‘read’ the image. The projected images are appropriated, manipulated, cropped, sequenced and re-contextualized with the soundtrack in an attempt to open up new embodied encounters with the viewer.
McCrea, R. (2013) 'Projection (Baton Charge 1913)' 'Exiles' a group exhibition curated by Alison Pilkington, Lab Gallery, Dublin, 15 March - 20 April 2013