Role of electronic communication studied in Declan Clarke's The Last Broadcast

Declan Clarke’s solo exhibition The Last Broadcast opens on 29th April at Galway Arts Centre. A special screening of the exhibition’s central work What Are the Wild Waves Saying? takes place in Galway Arts Centre’s Nuns Island Theatre at 5pm, followed by Q+A with the artist in conversation with author Emilie Pine- author of the bestseller Notes to Self and Professor of Modern Drama at UCD.

All are welcome, no booking required. The official opening reception continues at Galway Arts Centre at 7pm, followed by an afterparty in Arus na nGael. The Last Broadcast exhibition centres on the history of electronic communication, its development over the last century, and how this legacy manifests itself currently in an unsteady, evolving Europe. As contemporary European generations continue to define nationhood within the confines of globalism, reflections between past and present are more significant than ever.

As in previous bodies of work, Clarke combines narrative and documentary with elements of noir and espionage, accompanied by an installation that weaves props, photos, texts and historical exhibits into a network rich in association. The Last Broadcast relays a complex, layered story of transition and transmission looking at surprising connections and historic parallels between a divided Ireland and an equally separated Germany, digging deep into the odd and overlooked past of European relations to scrutinize this history as a means of shedding light on the unfolding present.

Shot across Germany and Ireland including Fanore and Bohermore Cemetery in Galway- through film, photography and installation The Last Broadcast looks at a number of historical incidents that connect the broadcasting history of Germany with that of Ireland and reveal the complex politicization of broadcasting technology during the European war. Included in the exhibition are examples of the Paris Aerial, German wireless sets from the 1930s, radios sets from both West and East Germany, and artefacts from the Irish Museum of Broadcasting that attest to the connections between the historical connections between German and Irish broadcasting service.

Ultimately, The Last Broadcast looks to the beginnings of electronic mass communication to examine the role of such technologies in defining and disrupting the relationship between states, democracy and citizens in Europe in the early 21st Century.

Declan Clarke born in 1971, lives in Berlin, where he moved after studying at Chelsea College of Art (London ) and the National College of Art & Design in Dublin. His films are screened at international film festivals such as Tromsø International Film Festival, New York Underground Film Festival and FID Marseille, where he received the Georges de Beauregard International Award in 2021. He has exhibited at PS1 MoMA (New York ), Tate Britain (London ), HKW Berlin, Salzburger Kunstverein, Austria Beijing Art Museum of Imperial City, 2nd Moscow Biennale and Center for Contemporary Art (Lagos ).

Emilie Pine is Professor of Modern Drama in the School of English, Drama and Film at University College Dublin. She has published widely as an academic and critic, most recently The Memory Marketplace: Witnessing Pain in Contemporary Theatre (Indiana University Press, 2020 ), and she is the author of the multi-award-winning Notes to Self: Essays, which has been translated into fifteen languages. Her first novel Ruth & Pen will be published in May 202


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