In a new series of articles, critic and broadcaster Cristín Leach selects 21 artworks for RTÉ Culture that define Modern Ireland.
Number Two: Here After by Paddy Jolley (2004), video
Furniture, clothes and domestic appliances fall to the floor through a hole in the ceiling of an abandoned living room as a piano cacophony plays in Paddy Jolley’s Here After. Flickering, grainy black and white footage re-imagines the empty home as a disaster zone, a place in which domestic items come alive and auto-eviscerate. Sofas disintegrate into piles of ripped upholstery; a fire starts to smoulder in a mattress; tables upend themselves, unexplained fluid leaks onto the floor. Doors slam and carpet gets sucked into unseen holes, taking furniture with it like an indoor vortex. Sinister and uncanny, Here After begins with outdoor shots of towerblocks before moving indoors to focus on peeling wallpaper and flapping net curtains. It was filmed on location in a vacated Ballymun flat in 2003. The last of the Ballymun towers was demolished 12 years later, turning the location into a place that forced the nation to rethink its concept of home.