Truly Rural by Eoghan Ryan
Kunstfort bij Vijfhuizen presents a filmic registration of Truly Rural, a performance by Eoghan Ryan, which was executed at the front of the fort island on 20 September 2020. The performance plays out the contradictions in regard to how we as viewers consume the idea of the rural and its crossover with how we as viewers, enact cultural spectatorship.
Five dancers, dressed as cows with clown faces interact with ‘an audience’. The interaction—intimate and formal, but at times also repulsive—connects spectatorship, attention, and cultural contagion. Ryan’s performance encourages viewers to reflect on the how and why behind our shared desire’s for satisfaction, consumption, alienation and repulsion. What makes a herd a herd, and how do power dynamics originate in these groups? Truly Rural begs the question: What is the limit in the digressions of human behavior, and who determines that boundary?
The soundtrack was devised in conversation with Daniel Iinatti. Spanning field recordings of Gigi D’Agostino in a sports hall in Southern Germany to the Kelley family. It shifts from anthems of origin and normativity to the loss of thereof, from folk songs to hardstyle. Sound quotations that are designed to bring people together and homogenize as much to alienate and disgust. It is bookended by multiple versions of the folk song Son ar chistr, notably covered in both Dutch and German by leftist band Bot’s.
Eoghan Ryan (b. 1987, Dublin) is a resident at the Rijksakademie voor Beeldende Kunsten and currently lives and works in Amsterdam. Ryan’s work uses video installations, performance, sculpture, and painting to understand “the group” as a creature in relation to the dynamics of institutional life in Western Europe. Exhibitions, performances, and presentations have taken place at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (Dublin); South London Gallery (London); Rowing (London); 427 (Riga); Spike (Berlin); Serralves Museum (Porto); IFI (Dublin); Outpost (Norwich); Kem (Warsaw); Cubitt (London); Kim? Contemporary (Riga); Plastik Moving Image Festival (Dublin); CAC, (Vilnius); Catalyst Arts (Belfast); BDP (Berlin), New Shelter Plan (Copenhagen); EEFF (London); and FACT (Liverpool) amongst others.
Daniel Iinatti is a Stockholm based curator and DJ. Together with Anna Sagström he is the founder of Country Music - a platform which examines the contemporary periphery through a lens of music, text, speed and materiality.
In 2019 Kunstfort programmed Defence Club, a bunker rave with Bogomor Doringer, Tijana T, Rojeh, Polly F (SPIELRAUM) and Kantarion Soundsystem.
Dancers: Alexandra Tveit, Raoni Muzho Saleh, Stefan Govaart, Tristan Al-Hinnawi and Çigdem Polat. Music mixed by Daniel Iinatti with Eoghan Ryan.
Film and editing: Fan Liao.