Terminal Convention Cork

Terminal Convention 17-27 March 2011
The former Cork International Airport (decommissioned terminal), Ireland

Terminal Convention was an art, music and discursive event featuring some of the world’s leading and emerging artists, musicians and theorists.

The project took place 17-27 March 2011 in the former Cork International Airport, Ireland (now decommissioned) and Cork city centre music venues.

Static also commissioned a film by Mike Hannon entitled Terminal Convention.

The concept for the project was developed by Paul Sullivan, Static Gallery, Liverpool.

Terminal Convention consisted of four interrelated strands: Exhibition, Symposium, Music Event and Art Fair.


Exhibitions Curator for Terminal Convention 2011 was Peter Gorschlüter (Deputy Director of MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main).

Participating artists were: Rosa Barba, Juan Cruz, Ross Dalziel (Sound Network), Douglas Gordon, Diane Guyot, Michael Hannon, Martin Healy, Nevan Lahart, Shane Munro, Seamus Nolan, Peter Norrman, Jacqueline Passmore, Le Pavillon (Palais de Tokyo/Paris), Hannah Pierce, Frederic Pradeau, Becky Shaw, Imogen Stidworthy, Paul Sullivan, Padraig Timoney and Adrian Williams.

Gorschlüter described the exhibition proposition:

Airports today are among the most controlled places in the world, and the most vulnerable too, not only in terms of security, but also, and more importantly, with regard to human relations, retail strategies and global economies. In 2006 the former Cork International Airport Terminal was decommissioned. A site that saw thousands of passengers passing through arrival and departure halls, duty free shops and customs controls every day until a few hours earlier, finally closed its doors for the last time.

Now, reopened for a few days after years of abandonment in which the site has preserved the traces of its past and has assumed a personal, almost humanlike identity, flickering technology and infrastructure, personal goods and permanently lost property, airport diaries and broken display cases are being reactivated to unfold new life through the interventions and works by over twenty international artists. Turning decay and absence into prospect and presence, the exhibition wakens the decommissioned terminal building to become, for a short moment in time, both an autonomous place and a place where autonomy is negotiated. Intangible to a great extent, the new commissions manifest themselves in the air, in sound, through light or in economic and interpersonal transactions. At first sight almost imperceptibly – a slight pressure in the air, flickering neon lights, LED screens continuously churning out undecipherable messages, conflicting announcements repeatedly played through the airport’s PA system, a 70mm film projector projecting through a smashed window onto the runway, a phone ringing all of a sudden at some abandoned counter, and a duty free shop offering almost every video work an artist has ever made, to name just a few of the multifaceted departure points – this singular exhibition aims to challenge our perception and imagination.”



Airport Art: Is it a Terminal Convention?

The symposium was partnered by CIT Crawford College of Art & Design and Liverpool John Moores University School of Art and Design.

John Byrne (co-director of Static Gallery and Senior Lecturer in Art LJMU) developed the concept and structure for the symposium:

Airport Art: Is it a Terminal Convention? forms both the meta-framework for the Terminal Convention project as a whole and an opportunity for academics, thinkers, theorists and activists to dig deeper behind the scenes of the ‘Global Art Industry’. Within our current neo-liberal economy (a globalised economy which thrives on its ability to encourage and re-absorb acceptable levels of shock and dissent) art and the art industry are badly in need of a ‘Napster moment’ – a way of re-thinking and re-routing the circuits through which art is produced, distributed, evaluated and consumed. And this ‘Napster moment’ can no longer hope to somehow happen outside the confines and strictures of our current economically driven models of living – there is simply no outside left, no other place to go. What is at stake here is the search for new subjectivities and new forms of autonomous dissent. What is needed is the re-coding and re-structuring of our relationships to our art historical pasts. What is demanded are ways to think ourselves through differently. During the Symposium, key speakers including Annie Fletcher, George Yudice, Charles Esche and Stephen Wright will open up a critical dialogue with real and virtual audiences in an attempt to address these issues – finding common grounds of resistance and proposing new forms of critical engagement.”


Music Event

The music element at Terminal Convention was used to explore some of the key new developments in the world of independent music. Working with artists who’s material had a resonance within the wider theme’s of Terminal Convention, the three evenings of performances ranged stylistically from experimental electronic to post-rock to roots to neo-pop.

The widely disciplined artist and pop-provocateur BILL DRUMMOND opened the music proceedings at Terminal Convention with a performance of THE17 on Wednesday 16th March at the Decommissioned Terminal.

Thursday 17th March saw the arrival of MORDANT MUSIC, a pioneering label at the abstract fringes of electronic music. Headlined by Wire Magazine cover star SHACKLETON the event was curated by The Black Mariah (Cork) and Static Gallery (Liverpool), and also played host to Mordant Music artists VINDICATRIXEKOPLEKZ and BARON MORDANT.

Liverpool based Music Magazine Bido Lito! and the highly influential, online Irish Music Magazine Whisperin & Hollerin, alongside The Black Mariah and Richter Collective co-curated events on Friday 18th March and Saturday 19th March. Set to showcase and investigate the relationship between new music from Liverpool and Ireland, the shows featured performances from Liverpool artists THE SAND BANDTHE LOUD and OWLS*. THREAD PULLS from Dublin and the enigmatic PATRICK KELLEHER was joined by THE GORGEOUS COLOURS from Dublin and WINDINGS from Limerick. Echo & The Bunnymen’s WILL SERGEANT played the records…


Art Fair

The Terminal Convention Art Fair was situated in the Departures Hall of the former Cork International Airport.

The Art Fair provided a physical installation context to the wider discursive examination of the art market and globalization taking place in the symposium: Airport Art: Is it a Terminal Convention?

The design, by Architects Paul Sullivan, Ste Thorpe and Jonathan Woodward (STATIC Architecture), examined notions of public and private space, fabrication, the architecture of the sale, VIP, and military and temporary urban installations.





Terminal Convention Exhibition was supported by the National Sculpture Factory (NSF), who selected and commissioned the Irish artists Nevan Lahart, Martin Healy and Seamus Nolan (Static Gallery commission).


Cultural Partners: National Sculpture Factory/Cork, Ireland, Arts Council Ireland, Arts Council England, Static Gallery/Liverpool, Liverpool City Council/Culture Liverpool.

Academic Partners: Liverpool John Moores University School of Art and Design and CIT Crawford College of Art & Design

Partners: Cork Airport, Cork City Council, The Bodega Group/Cork. Dutch Art Institute, PRS, Van Abbe Museum/Eindhoven

Music Venues: Cyprus Avenue and Crane Lane Theatre, Cork

Drinks Sponsor: DIAGEO

Hotel Partner: Cork International Airport Hotel

Media Partner: The Irish Examiner


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