Cluiche an Chuimhnimh, Michael Holly - Taispeántas ag Siamsa Tíre 16.04.2014

Media Release


Michael Holly

At Siamsa Tíre, Tralee

12 April – 17 May 2014

Official Opening: Saturday 12th @ 6pm

An exhibition of contemporary art by Dublin-based and Co. Kerry native Michael Holly, whose work explores the ways in which history, and a reliance on stories and myths underpin the rural Irish identity, opens at Siamsa Tíre Gallery on Saturday 12th of April 2014. This exhibition, entitled: The Remembering Game is a re-telling of an infamous faction fight that took place on and around the beach of Ballyeagh in North Kerry, on a site which is now a part of The Cashen Course of Ballybunion Golf Club.

This work brings together photography, video, installation and story-telling to produce a parafictional narrative in which the traditional lines and methods of history are challenged.

On St. John’s Day, the 24th of June, 1834, two large factions, one from South of the river Cashen, and one from the North, gathered on the beach at Ballyeagh to engage in battle. Their reasons for fighting are yet unclear; some say it was for the sheer fun of it, some say it was for traditional reasons, and others say that it was to settle a long-standing feud. Irrelevant to the reason, the final outcome was bloody, with many injured and some losing their lives. What little is known about the fight comes mainly from anecdotal accounts, handed down over generations, their accuracy undoubtedly corrupted by countless embellishments and omissions. It is here that Holly’s interest lies, and it is here in this historical ambiguity that he makes his work.

Having grown up in the area, Michael Holly became interested in how conflict and the retelling of histories shape the local and regional identities, which ultimately feed into the sense of self in a national context. In The Remembering Game, the story of the faction fight is told from constructed, spiritual and imagined perspectives. These are often aesthetic facts rather than historical. This exhibition contains fact, and placebo fact.

Michael Holly completed a MA in Visual Arts Practices (MAVIS) at IADT, Dún Laoghaire in 2013. His work focuses on the use of fictions and parafictions to subvert historical norms and to ask questions of contemporary society and social structures. Prior to his postgraduate studies he worked as a commercial and institutional photographer in Canada between 2004 and 2012. He currently lives and works in Dublin city.

This exhibition is accompanied by a free, limited-edition illustrated catalogue, including an essay on the exhibition by Sean Lynch: If you thought you know, now, you don’t…

Opening Reception and Artist’s Talk: Saturday 12th April 2014, 6pm.

The exhibition continues until 17th May 2014.

Admission is free.

Opening hours: 10am – 6pm, Monday to Saturday.

Siamsa Tíre, Town Park, Tralee, Co Kerry,

For further information, please contact Catríona Fallon on 066) 7186191 or

Kerry County Council, Co. Buildings, Rathass, Tralee

Phone: (066) 718 3500     Email:

  • cssimg
  • wai-aaaimg
  • xhtml image