PhotoIreland Festival 2014 | Youth Culture, Alex Sheridan
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Youth Culture,
Alex Sheridan

Canon Open Programme

Art Lot,
On the Junction of Harcourt Road and Richmond Terrace

Opening: TBC
Dates: 1 July- 31 Aug
Opening hours: Outdoors

Youth Culture,
Alex Sheridan

Alex Sheridan’s work documents a part of Irish youth culture emanating from the world of skateboarding. Rather than a passive social documenter, at eighteen years old, Sheridan provides the vantage point of an active participant in an ever expanding subculture.

 

While Graffiti is now openly accepted as a legitimate, although not always legal, mode of artistic expression Sheridan’s work points toward the possibility that skateboarding may be viewed as a kind of urban performance art. The images depict how the utilitarian functionality of our urban surroundings can be subverted; vacant parking lots can become a kind of theatre set; steps and handrails become props in what is a deeply skilled and choreographed temporal social exchange.

 

There is an innate sense of rebelliousness and irreverence illustrated in the documentation of the activities of both his friends and fellow enthusiasts. The iconic signature work Sphere within a Sphere in Trinity College by Italian Sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro whose work can be viewed everywhere from the Vatican to the Hirshhorn Museum, becomes just another object to stand on. The city’s trophy from the Celtic Tiger years, the Samuel Beckett Bridge by world renowned architect Santiago Calatrava is just another ramp to be skated upon. It has been said that pronouncements such as “the problem with the young people today..” are often statements used to scapegoat or mask larger social concerns. Sheridan’s work unwittingly captures many of the nation’s current anxieties, empty car parks, derelict shop fronts, the vacant Anglo Irish Bank headquarters on the Quays, this is as much a documentation of our city in this moment in time, as it is of the youth who occupy it.

 

Curated by John Kenny