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Visualizing Dublin

Visual Culture, Modernity and the Representation of Urban Space


Edited By Justin Carville

Dublin has held an important place throughout Ireland’s cultural history. The shifting configurations of the city’s streetscapes have been marked by the ideological frameworks of imperialism, its architecture embedded within the cultural politics of the nation, and its monuments and sculptures mobilized to envision the economic ambitions of the state. This book examines the relationship of Dublin to Ireland’s social history through the city’s visual culture. Through specific case studies of Dublin’s streetscapes, architecture and sculpture and its depiction in literature, photography and cinema, the contributors discuss the significance of visual experiences and representations of the city to our understanding of Irish cultural life, both past and present.
Drawing together scholars from across the arts, humanities and social sciences, the collection addresses two emerging themes in Irish studies: the intersection of the city with cultural politics, and the role of the visual in projecting Irish cultural identity. The essays not only ask new questions of existing cultural histories but also identify previously unexplored visual representations of the city. The book’s interdisciplinary approach seeks to broaden established understandings of visual culture within Irish studies to incorporate not only visual artefacts, but also textual descriptions and ocular experiences that contribute to how we come to look at, see and experience both Dublin and Ireland.


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Acknowledgments ix JUSTIN CARVILLE Introduction: Visual Culture and the Making of Modern Dublin 1 Part I Architecture, Identity, Place 23 JEFFREY A. COHEN Dublin Streets Sideways: Henry Shaw’s 1850 Pictorial Directory 25 IAN MORLEY Place, Race and Grand Architectural Statements: Civic Design in Early-1900s Dublin 61 GARY A. BOYD Dublin’s Ephemeral and Imaginary Architectures 85 Part II Modernity, Cinema, Cityscape 109 SEAN MANNION Celtic Arc Light: The Electric Light in Early Twentieth-Century Dublin 111 vi DENIS CONDON ‘Temples to the Art of Cinematography’: The Cinema on the Dublin Streetscape, 1910–1920 133 PAULA GILLIGAN Between Guinness and Holy Water: Alexandre Trauner’s Dublin 155 Part III Art, Politics, Imaginative Geographies 179 JUSTIN CARVILLE ‘The Glad Smile of God’s Sunlight’: Photography and the Imaginative Geography of Darkest Dublin 181 SíGHLE BHREATHNACH-LYNCH Political Sculpture in Twentieth-Century Dublin: Art as a Barometer of Political Expression 203 JENNIFER WAY O’Connell Street as the ‘Nation’s Main Street’: The Image of Ireland’s Modernity and Irelantis 221 Part IV History, Aestheticization, Globalization 247 CHRiSTOPHER LOWE Dublin’s (in)Authentic Vista 249 vii EAMONN SLATER Visualizing ‘History’ in a Dublin Suburb: The ‘forlorn little’ Dolmen of Ballybrack 267 SILVIA LOEFFLER Deep Mappings of Dublin: Spot the Blind Spot 287 Notes on Contributors 309 Index 313

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