HELEN CAREY

The ‘General Mobilisation’ notice draws on a similar type of notice posted in Paris at the outbreak of World War 1. It informs the Citizens of Paris of the date of the general mobilisation of the army, calling up of reserves and all the preparation for war. Thus began the break-down of order in Europe, and its roll towards catastrophy begun. With this began the irreversible trend that would site the 20th century as the bloodiest century in recorded history. In this slight and fading notice, which is still posted on rue Royale next to Maxim’s in Paris, with a protective yet elegant frame surrounding it, notice is served that the world is changing and that people may not ignore what is coming. It was also to mark liberation as the shift of power away from the aristocracy and the claims of birthright reached its most potent, in a movement begun with the French Revolution, and consolidated with the Napoleonic Wars.

In 1914, in the small still colonized Ireland, the Great Lockout of Dublin in 1913 had reached its bitter end, with workers defeated.  However, notice had been served on the rising Irish middle classes and British Empire that in Ireland that things were about to change; what had also been shown was what needed to change. With levels of poverty and deprivation being the most profound in the whole of the British Empire, Dublin sounded echoes of what was happening throughout Europe and the World, and the Lockout would throw up choices to those who would be leaders. What would be chosen was a narrow nationalism and what needed to be changed had to wait. Until now?

The poster is physically framed on places in Dublin, some of which need to change, as well as appealing to the ephemera of les evenements of Paris ’68. In this poster/notice, the times we live in are marked, and the sense of change pervading our society signaled. What will we choose?



Helen Carey is an independent Curator based in Dublin. She is currently working on several exhibition projects, including 1913/2013 Lockout, looking at the Great Lockout in Dublin in the early 20th Century, Irish Labour History and Nationalism and the current shifts in understandings around notions of work and protest, and where History intersects our understanding of the present and influences our ideas for the future. She is developing a specially commissioned lens based Art Work on the sites of the international Financial crisis – the international Stock Exchanges – with Artist Mark Curran for which she received a Projects Award from the Arts Council of Ireland 2010.

She is also working with Performance Artist Amanda Coogan and Visual Artist Brian Duggan on separate exhibition developments. Her practice concerns Cultural Identity and Commemorative exhibition, the Visibility of Contemporary Art in Ireland today, and the strategies and possibilities of collaboration across different disciplines. Her background includes History and Politics from University College Dublin, as well as post-graduate studies in Contemporary Visual Art Practices. Prior to working as an independent Curator, she was the inaugural Director of the Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris, Director of Galway Arts Centre, Ireland and Public Art Project Manager for the landmark Millennium Commission At Bristol, United Kingdom