Protests Come and Go... – Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, televised RTE interview, October 15th, 2014.
‘Protests Come and Go’ is a visual arts exhibition of analogue photography by Dublin-based artist, Simon Prunty and has been developed from photographic works shot at public protest rallies in Dublin City throughout 2015. The show is hosted by In-spire Galerie and will run from 23rd of March (Opening Night) until the 5th of April 2016.
Envisioned as a response to Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan’s remark that “protests come and go,” the work effectively hijacks his point of view and creates at times a grim, melancholic aesthetic in order to condemn the very idea it embodies. In this sense, the project is a form of dark parody. Above all other artistic intentions, the work was primarily created to be an ironic visual companion to the minister’s sentiments and in many ways could be considered a conceptual view of public discontent from the window of the very powerful and indifferent.
The project does not take a familiar documentary-photography approach to a social-political issue, challenging its target in a purely representational manner, but instead the work was influenced by a variety of artistic disciplines as well as contemporary photography and was created with a more painterly, expressive style in order to explore more conceptual territory, this being a common feature of Simon's work. In reality the camera was pointed at the protesters, but the true picture in this work is of those they are protesting against.