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Photo Museum Ireland

The Bank by Michael Boran, Michael Durand and David Farrell

The Bank by Michael Boran, Michael Durand and David Farrell

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Published on the occasion of the exhibition THE BANK at the Gallery of Photography Ireland 2006


Three of Ireland’s leading photographic artists provide a fascinating insight into the world of the CBFSAI from their own individual perspectives. Michael Boran, David Farrell and Michael Durand were selected to participate in the Bank’s 2006 Art Project. Each artist was commissioned to produce a body of work with consideration to any aspect of the Bank; its architecture, location or its social environment. The artists were granted access to all levels of this landmark building and organisation and each took up the challenge in their own way.

Michael Boran’s work focuses on the Plaza and steps. It reveals the secret poetry of fleeting moments captured as people go about their everyday business. A man looking in his wallet shows the keepsake snapshot inside. People entering and leaving the building make bold patterns against the steps, playfully mirroring the graphing of economic ascent and descent. Upstairs, an office worker glances away from her computer against a panoramic vista of the city’s changing skyline.

Facts and figures feature prominently in Michael Durand’s engaging series of portraits of Central Bank staff, Statistical Portraits. Durand has portrayed each person with a pile of decommissioned (shredded) money. The size of the pile of cash corresponds to a statistic of the person’s choosing: from €1.45 (the average annual donation to charity by Irish people) to €700,000 (the cost of a new Mercedes Maybach)… The result is a dynamic and exuberant series of portraits where individual personalities are allowed shine through. Durand’s work, which occupies the entire upper gallery, concludes with a site-specific installation made from approximately €2million in decommissioned euro notes.

David Farrell presents When a Building Sleeps, a series of photographic prints and video works shot inside the bank after office hours. Farrell deftly sets up a set of relationships – between reflection and reality; interior and exterior; and daytime and nighttime – which are played out over a sixty-minute realtime video piece. Like the building’s suspended floors, the work conveys a sense of weightlessness: the viewer seems to float or hover over the city. Its dreamlike quality is instilled with an underlying sense of surveillance. Oblique references to a kind of ghost story keep the viewer hooked into a sustained meditation on the nature of time.

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