2018 Annual Irish Studies Lecture
Prof David Lloyd (University of California, Riverside):
Redemptive Constellations: Irish-Palestinian Relays in Emily Jacir’s “Notes for a Cannon”
Emily Jacir’s recent installation at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, “Notes for a Cannon” (2016-17), which she has described as “throwing open her sketchbook”, constellates histories of Palestine and Ireland in a magnetic field of correspondence and convergence. The work constitutes, not a didactic process of instruction defining the convergences and comparisons between two discrete spaces, but an ongoing, and ultimately collective sketch-work that keeps enabling the discovery of past and present interconnections between two sites that are geographically remote but bound together by historical, actual and analogical links. Both the land and the culture of Ireland and Palestine are marked by imperialism and settler colonialism and by an enduring resistance to them. The fragmentary and episodic connections traced between them may look like the debris of historical damage, but are charged with the openness to the future that the imagination and forging of life in common inspires.