Niamh O’Connor

Floating Worlds

here are my thoughts regarding a response and initial approach to the NIVAL.

Boxes and more boxes – cardboard fruit containers, lidded plastic, archival acid free and steel whose contents lie in wait, both unsorted and readied. I am interested in the organisation, handling, classification and presentation of materials in this living library of Irish visual art, in the human resources necessary to archive and make publicly accessible the deposits and in the tensions imposed by lack of resources and limitation of space. Sorting and culling from the boxes donated to the library is a little like the prospector tilting the pan for placer gold, bringing to the surface what is of value and then subjecting it to various treatments in order to extract most value i.e. to make it as widely available as possible – removing staples for digital scanning or orienting the materials from a horizontal to a vertical axis. I would especially like to explore the processes engaged in to ‘unfold’ what arrives as a mixed box of uncertain worth, perhaps surreptitiously appropriating paper or other materials from the NCAD studio wastebaskets to look at storing, ordering and presenting what I find. There is something of interest too in the weight and scale of the stored materials and tight spaces to negotiate in this reference library that is in stark contrast to a gallery space where the resulting art works will be shown.

N. O’Connor