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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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Part IV History, Aestheticization, Globalization


Christopher Lowe Dublin’s (in)Authentic Vista In 2010 the Irish state attempted to have Georgian Dublin declared an UNESCO World Heritage site as part of the ‘Historic City of Dublin’ proposal, which alongside its architecture emphasized the city’s literary culture from the eighteenth to the twentieth century.1 This initiative iden- tified Georgian architecture as an important part of the current branding of the city. In addition to literature and architecture, the initial submission included Dublin’s enlightenment heritage as the highlights of the submis- sion.2 Significantly, other elements of the surviving built environment were excluded from this submission, such as the ‘Dutch Billies’, a type of building popularly associated with King William of Orange or ‘King Billy’. It has been suggested by Kelli Ann Costa that Georgian Dublin has been subject to the process of sacralization, through which examples of buildings have been found which represent the highest achievements of the Georgian period in architecture including the rediscovery of ‘new’ Georgian districts.3 The style of these prime examples of Georgian archi- tecture is emulated in contemporary architecture, increasing the symbolic heritage value of the original.4 This essay interrogates this process, using the imitation and rediscovery stages as points of departure arguing that new and restored buildings are a pastiche of the original architectural design, 1 Unesco, The Historic City of Dublin, UNESCO World Heritage Centre (2010), . Retrieved 27 September 2010. 2 B. Lucas, Tentative List Submission Format: Ireland Submission (Dublin 2010), . Retrieved 27 September 2010. 3 K. A. Costa, Coach Fellas:...

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