Talk to the Land (Carhoogariff): Film, colour, sound, 3 minutes duration. Billboard poster, inkjet print on board 290cm x 290cm.

Mel Jordan (Artist), Andrew Hewitt (Artist)

Research output: Practice-Based and Non-textual ResearchArtefact

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The film shows a yellow banner with earth-toned text reading “Become Cooperative, Become Common, Become Free”. The banner is held by two people and is blowing in the wind atop a hill in Carhoogariff, County Cork. Born out of Cork based thinker William Thompson’s participation in the cooperative movement, Carhoogariff was the intended site for his visionary utopian settlement, a few dwellings were initially constructed but due to Thompson’s poor health and death the project was short-lived.

The cooperative movement proposed alternative economic models for communities based on equal rights among members. The fragility of the statement on the banner seemingly “fights” against the blustery climate of capitalism. The sound track is a voice over devised from Thompson’s text Practical Directions for the Speedy and Economical Establishment of Communities (1830). The work brings attention to Thompson's ideas demonstrating a continued engagement with rethinking the way we live together. Thompson was read by Marx and was a considerable influence on Marx's description of value. The work acknowledges the ongoing drive for democracy and refers to contemporary relevance of the cooperative movement. For example, it highlights the disproportionate distribution of wealth across the globe, based on accumulated capital. The script moves beyond Thompson’s human-centric level of inquiry to address the potential for equal sharing of resources between humans and nonhumans.

The poster behind the monitor in the exhibition installation depicts a pastoral scene, referring to a romanticist vision of nature positioned against civilization. It is also reminiscent of a desire to return to an age before extractivism, the economic process that has been contributing to climate change.
View the film here, duration 5minutes
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2022


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