Art/not art

The Society for the Conservation of Politics and Public Space (SCPPS), at the Mechanics’ Institute, Galway City, Ireland
12pm Saturday November 12th 2016 – further information HERE 

Founding members Fergal Gaynor and Dobz O’Brien will be present at the Institute for the rest of the day, to answer queries, and to assist readers at the SCPPS Library, a collection of texts on art and politics, all readable in an afternoon, suggested by the Society’s Irish and international affiliates.

The Society aims to investigate and intervene in the current shrinkage of public space, and confusion regarding the nature of politics. It will do this from a position of tension between art and politics, prior to the engagement of any ideology.

Nothing can be assumed of its programme or how it will choose to organise itself.

It will position itself ahead of, within or behind social movement as it sees fit.

Its initial building blocks will be individuals who care about the political and / or its relation to art, rather than any set ideas or aims.

 Its chief concern will be with the conditions of existence of art and politics, which overlap in the space of appearance, that is, in public space.

 It will practice art, or politics, or something else.

 It will be an accomplice of memory.


Dobz O’Brien and Dr. Fergal Gaynor have collaborated as Art/ not art since 1999,when the interventionist group was formed in Glasgow. Art/Not art’s activities since then have encompassed performance (at Circo Fragile [Pavia, Italy], Gasthof  (as part of Manifesta 4) [Frankfurt], the Goethe Institut [Dublin], etc.), education (Non-Academy [Cork]), exhibition (Total Kunst [Edinburgh]) and curation (most notably the Cork Caucus in 2005, with Charles Esche, Annie Fletcher and the National Sculpture Factory).  

Outside of Art/Not art Dobz O’Brien is Programme Manager of the National Sculpture Factory, in which capacity he has produced art events for Superflex (Denmark), Phil Collins (England and Germany), Jesse Presley Jones (Ireland), among others. His individual artistic practice has resulted in exhibitions at the Torino Biennale (Italy), the Project Arts Centre (Dublin), Cork’s Crawford Gallery, etc.

Fergal Gaynor is editor, with Ed Krcma, of art journal Enclave Review, now in its sixth year of production.  He is also a critic, independent scholar and poet. Recent poetry can be read in the Spring / Summer issue of the Irish University Review, edited by David Lloyd. He is on the board of the SoundEye Festival of the Arts of the Word, and conceived of and organised the ‘meta-festival’ The Avant in Cork.