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The nation of Irelantis : Ireland as elsewhere

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Abstract:

Against the backdrop of a heritage turn in the humanities enquiring how we use history in response to the needs of the present day, in a collage series called Irelantis, 1994–1999, Dublin-based artist Sean Hillen reused popular tourist postcards to recount anxieties about emigration linking the post-1949 years with the Celtic Tiger period of the mid- to late 1990s in the Republic of Ireland. This article explores the significance of the ways Hillen narrated the Ireland of Irelantis visually by positioning viewers to see it from without and providing evidence of its mobility. The article correlates these features with intellectuals' and members of the Republic's governments' concerns about national sovereignty and agency. As an example, it looks in-depth at the ways a particular collage visually representing central Dublin restages discourses of modernity and tourism in relation to Irish emigration during the post-1949 years. It then briefly considers how another scene outlines complexities of Irish emigration and immigration during the Celtic Tiger period.

Keywords: Ireland; John Hinde; Sean Hillen; emigration; modernity; nation; postcards; tourism

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1386/jepc.1.2.89_1

Publication date: 2010-12-01

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  • The Journal of European Popular Culture investigates the creative cultures of Europe, present and past. Exploring European popular imagery, media, new media, film, music, art and design, architecture, drama and dance, fine art, literature and the writing arts, and more, the journal is also of interest to those considering the influence of European creativity and European creative artefacts worldwide.
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