I’ve only been to one Dublin fringe event, an attempt to auction some art for a play, and then I only went along to meet a Hungarian who shares my reaction to the continent of Ireland.
I did my bit; I contributed to the event, and the play it was funding; I bought some overpriced bad beer and some failed raffle tickets. That’s not a complaint, that’s what you do.
The place felt like a 60s hippy artists’ loft recreated by a middle class ambient playwright. The art was pretty good and expensive. Only two pieces attracted my eye. One was a unicorn on a magic-esque background, with what I interpreted as artificial steps going to its head; I enjoyed the contradiction. The other was a large outline piece: a green line of rolling landscape, an almost butterfly tree on the hard left. What made it was the background, a subtle wash of morphing colour.
All the pieces, in one way or the other, were fantasy, were tidy, were sweet. There was no decay, no violence, no pollution. They were all very suitable for aunt Mathilda’s front room, had I an aunt Mathilda. They so didn’t belong to the world that birthed them I felt reality’s darklight would have them wilt. Still, someone had a sense of irony; the place was called the Black Loft.
You know, that makes them fit right in with the Dublin poetry scene. That says I ought to go see the art in Cork. Or, far better, bugger off to Paris. Je me donne deux ans, credit crunch permitting.