ROOFTOP
SQUAT
SEAMUS NOLAN

Screen shot courtesy of the artist

The roof on one of Dublin’s oldest squats is in need of repair, for years duct tape and election posters have shored up and redirected the falling rains, the timbers of the roof are rotten and the slates broken yet this roof in its imperfect and dysfunctional state has housed and facilitated an expanding community of artists and activists.

The space has been claimed as a political gesture of asserting the basic rights of the individual to shelter over the rights of the individual to private property which is not only not serving its intended function but actually operating as a tool of speculative investment. Creating a need for shelter, and therefore driving up the value of that resource, a double process of exclusion.

Squatting is a process of appropriation, of claiming both private property and personal agency. It relies on a collective communitarian ethic of mutual tolerance and solidarity in order to create the conditions of collective communitarian tolerance and solidarity. Squatters do not wait for future laws which will allow us to live as responsible and fulfilled individuals but claim those rights to shelter, to building community and legitimacy in how ever our lives and imaginations demand.

The derelict buildings in our cities have become anti social spaces, spaces contrary to public good where economic principles take precedent over individual rights to shelter.

These sites are where the private individual encounters public process, sites of immediate political engagement. In Habermas’ terms these are public spaces, sites where private and public process collide, where dominant narratives are communicated and mediated. In both material and ethereal sense, where our ideas and beliefs conflict with the material construct of our socio-political and economic environment.

dimensions

420cm x 636cm x 140cm

materials

mixed media including, timber, screws, batons, roof slates, single channel video piece

88 North Main StreeT Cork