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‘The Welfare of Tomás Ó Hallissy’ from Duncan Campbell to exhibit at IMMA
24 Nov 2016 : Katie McNeice
‘The Welfare of Tomás Ó Hallissy’
The latest work from the Turner Prize Winner will be showcased at the Irish Museum of Modern Art until May 2017 with support from the Irish Film Board, marking their first film collaboration with IMMA.

It was commissioned by IMMA with co-commissioners Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven and Western Front, Canada.

The project was filmed in Dún Chaoin village, Co. Kerry and the surrounding areas, and is the first work from the artist which uses both newly scripted material and existing footage. This footage is taken from ‘The Village’ (1968) which was set in the same location and directed by Mark McCarty and Paul Hockings.

‘The Welfare of Tomás Ó Hallissy’ follows the premise of the pre-existing work, but also uses the contrast between this and his own work to question the validity of the documentary form.

In doing so he touches on the relationship between the original filmmakers and the villagers, the representation of fact versus fiction, the history of ethnographic studies of rural communities and the methods of investigating contemporary societal issues through filmmaking, both then and now.

Duncan Campbell, Director:
“The film is set at the interface of the activist perspective of the two American anthropologists and their focus on individual minds to be saved; and the communal but conservatively Catholic perspective of the people they are studying. The main character in the film is a speechless 10 year-old boy, Tomás, who is seen in the light of the tension between these two perspectives.’ At the heart of the film is the question of Tomás’ welfare and, if he is in need of salvation - whether this lies in tradition or modernity.”

James Hickey, Chief Executive of the Irish Film Board
"We are delighted to have had an opportunity to work with renowned Irish artist Duncan Campbell and for his work to be seen not only in art galleries but potentially by audiences at film festivals and markets around the world. The IFB is open to supporting filmmakers from all artistic disciplines with the aim of further developing their talent in film. We are also delighted to work in partnership with IMMA on this project."

Ross Keane, Director of the Irish Film Institute:
“The Village is a fascinating ethnographic documentary looking at how modernisation affected the inhabitants of Dún Chaoin and their relationship with the unpopulated Blasket Islands, and we are delighted that Duncan Campbell found inspiration for his latest work from this film and through his research into our collection at the IFI Irish Film Archive.”

View this Exhibition on the Official IMMA Website




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