click for interactive panoramaBamboo Support

The Nissan Art Project for the Millennium was Bamboo Support, by Dan Shipsides, . Bamboo Support, which was launched on 27th September 2000, comprises a bamboo scaffolding structure attached to the facade of the Carlton Cinema building in O'Connell Street, Dublin, is the third Nissan Art Project, and follows the highly successful GHOSTSHIP by Dorothy Cross (1999) and For Dublin by Frances Hegarty and Andrew Stones (1997).

The project, organised and curated by the Irish Museum of Modern Art, is sponsored by Nissan Ireland who increased the budget from 40,000 to 100,000 for the millennium year. Bamboo Support will remain in place until 2 December 2000. Over 12,000 metres of bamboo was shipped from Hong Kong for the structure, which is 30m long x 20.5m high x 1.5m wide. A team of six professional scaffolding workers from the Ever Need Company Ltd, Hong Kong, supervised by company manager Albert Lai, erected the scaffolding using simple hand tools over a five-day period, under the direction of the artist and Museum staff with the assistance of Scafform, Dublin.

In addition to the visual impact of such an unusual structure in the capital's main thoroughfare, Bamboo Support is intended to highlight the current redevelopment of Dublin and its role as a gateway to Europe in attracting overseas investment. The project also examines the cultural and economic parallels between Ireland and the Far East; between their turbulent tiger economies and our own much-talked-about Celtic Tiger. The artist's choice of bamboo scaffolding, commonly used in many Asian countries, provides an . . . aesthetically beautiful and contextually pertinent counterpoint to the steel scaffolding used within urban developments in Ireland. The project sets out to be an aesthetic experience for the public as well as drawing attention to some of the social and economic issues facing Dublin today. The choice of the Carlton Cinema building - for its location, visual aspect and cultural / economic significance - is central to the work. The building's current state of disuse represents a common phenomenon in the O'Connell Street area, with many buildings now earmarked for renovation under a major scheme for inner-city redevelopment. Architecturally it represents an earlier period of redevelopment by city architect H T Rourke in the 1930s, following the destruction of much of the street during the 1916 Rising and the Civil War. The Carlton Cinema is owned by the Carlton Group, who have kindly given permission for the project, and is due to be redeveloped as a shopping mall shortly after the end of the project.

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See the 1999 project Dorothy Cross' GHOSTSHIP


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