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Dan Shipsides - The Passion considered as a Somme summit cross 2018.


The Passion considered as a Somme summit cross (partially erected).
Mixed media sculpture

This work develops the technique of the pataphor (the pataphor, is to the metaphor, what metaphysics is to physics) building on the pataphor established in Jarry’s The Passion Considered as an uphill bicycle race (1903).

This technique involves running a number of ideas alongside each other and seeing what , with the artistic licence of pataperception, can transfer or jump across from one to another.

Jarry’s blasphemous Passion…. considers the crucifixion of Christ as an uphill bicycle race. In my Passion I find visual and conceptual jumping points between the idea of the UVF Ambulance* (the 1912 UVF had an ambulance corps set up prior to WW1, where they enlisted and fought on the Somme, something they didn’t have during the carnage they and others perpetrated during the ‘troubles’ of the 1970s), the tradition of erecting of crosses on mountain summits throughout Europe and a secondary series of ideas around childhood, play and my son's Ikea toy dragon**. The terror of the UVF pataphored as the terror of my son’s soft toys.

The concept of the sacrificial is central to these ideas. The Somme is often referred to as the sacrificial ground that the UVF Ulstermen died upon as a key tenet of their blood pledge of being British (despite the UVF originally being set up to defend Ulster from the will of both Britian and Irish republicanism), and hence bringing about partition in Ireland.

* the UVF Ambulance screen prints came out of a process of imagining what a logo for a UVF Ambulance service might been in the 1970s.

** Ikea came to Northern Ireland in 2007, setting up in the heart of UVF territory in east Belfast – in many ways the international lifestyle aesthetic of Ikea feels part of the peace dividend.

This iteration of this work has the cross in a partial erection.
Another iteration exists where the cross hangs as a mobile on ropes and gently rotates.