The museum centres on the history of electronic communication, its development over the last century, and how this legacy manifests itself currently in an unsteady, evolving Europe. As Europeans continue to define nationhood within the confines of globalism, reflections between past and present are more significant than ever. This project considers an evolving relationship between humans and technology, a relationship that is both enhanced and disrupted through the limitations of communication and comprehension. The museum incorporates both historical artefacts and personal items, and presents a complex, layered story of transition and transmission.
This installation at the RHA is the most significant and comprehensive iteration of The Museum of Broadcasting and Loneliness to date. It is a re-staging of a number of elements from the former Museum of Broadcasting, opened in Dublin, Ireland in 1981. The original museum closed at some point in the early 1990s, whereupon a greatly reduced and remodelled section of it was transferred to the Women’s Gaol Heritage Centre in Cork in 1997. The remainder of the museum has since been in storage. The items are presented in this exhibition as they had been found; displaying the dust and decay of a museum of broadcasting that ceased transmitting.
Elements and artefacts incorporated into the display present a permutation of the original intentions of the museum, creating a third space in the gallery that intertwines the wider narrative surrounding the history of broadcasting―which is here a metaphor for international and intergenerational dialogue, and will reflect upon transitions in these dialogues in Ireland, Europe, globally and beyond the realm of earthly transmissions
The Museum of Broadcasting and Loneliness seeks to reflect upon the decline of our neurological functions as we seek to develop more rapid and pervasive means of communication through technology, linking the deterioration of the human mind with limits of human understanding of the cosmos. In essence – what it means to send a signal, and what it means for that signal to be in turn received. Melancholic, ecstatic, reflective, The Museum of Broadcasting and Loneliness reaches into the past, present and future simultaneously, conjuring a sense of a continent and a people in recalibration.
Central to the installation is the award winning film, Saturn and Beyond. Produced in 2021, the film is a 60-minute reflection on the development of transatlantic communication, ultimately connecting these networks with neural networks, and dementia. The film traces the discovery of the connection between lightening and electricity, and how this understanding developed into firstly electrical communication, and expanded to transcontinental communication and ultimately broadcasting.
Iterations of The Museum of Broadcasting and Loneliness have previously been exhibited at The Salzburger Kunsterverin, Salburg, Austria in 2020, and in the Kunstverein am Rosa-Luxemburg- Platz, Berlin, Germany in 2021.
Declan Clarke, born Dublin, Ireland 1974 is an artist and filmmaker.
Recent solo exhibitions include The Last Broadcast Galway Arts Centre; The Last Broadcast Kunstverein am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, Berlin, both 2022.
The Museum of Broadcasting and Loneliness, Kunstervein am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, Berlin, 2021; Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg, Austria, 2020; As I Get Older I Get More Afraid of the Dark, Salonul de proiecte, Bucharest, Romania, 2017; I Wanted to Share My Lover’s Fate, Farbvision, Berlin; Declan Clarke: Recent Film Work, Torrence Art Museum, Los Angeles, USA; The Hopeless End of a Great Dream, Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin, Belfast Exposed, Belfast, and the Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris; Geist Trilogie, Tromsø Kunstforening, Norway, (all 2016). Wreckage in May, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, Dublin, 2015; Group Portrait with Explosives, Mother’s Tankstation, Dublin, 2014.
His films have been included in the FID-Marseille International Film Festival, in 2022, 2021, 2016 and 2013; the F/Stop Film Festival Leipzig, 2018; Tromsø International Film Festival in 2014; The New York Underground Film Festival, 2010. In 2016 he won the Jury Prize at the Ljubljana Biennial of Graphic Arts. In 2022 he won the Kodak Prize at FID Lab. His film Saturn and Beyond won the Georges De Beauregard International Award at FID Marseille 2021 from an international jury headed by the acclaimed filmmaker Lav Diaz. It was included in the Official Selection for the International Competition of the St. Petersburg International Science Film Festival 2021 and the International Competition of the Punto da Vista International Documentary Film Festival of Navarra. In 2023 it was selected for the Compétition Echappées at the Festival En Ville, Brussels.
Images 1 and 3: Courtesy of the artist and the Paddy Clarke Estate
Image 2: Courtesy of the artist.