"A Shanty We Can Believe In" as part of Video Killed the Radio Star
The 3rd Annual 126 Members' Show with Paul Murnaghan, Dominic Thorpe, Angela Darby, Fiona Chambers, David Finn, Padraig Robinson, Kevin Mooney, Austin Ivers, Nina Amazing, Timothy Acheson & Jennifer Cunningham, Kathryn Maguire, James Merrigan and Breda Lynch.
Royal Hibernian Academy
January 14th — February 28th, 2010
"The  membership was asked to respond to the theme 'Video Killed The Radio Star'... The works speak of and to society at a time of perceived change with responses that range from the critical and cynical to those with a more playful and humorous tone."
A Shanty We Can Believe In is a life size re-creation, from a photograph, of a ‘shanty’. In the re-creation however, external walls bear the official posters from the 2008 Obama campaign. It is a hybrid of past, present and future; a contradiction of a global superpower and the 'Third World'.
US President Barack Obama inherited a massive economic meltdown during his first term and has promised, abstractly, ‘change’ and ‘hope’. As a representation of a home, A Shanty We Can Believe In connects to the waves of foreclosures, job losses and bank failures that took place at this time. Unfortunately, these pressing issues are all too frequently covered up by the veneer of identity politics and Obama’s campaign and presidency.
While the significance of an African-American being elected to the highest office in the US is enormous full stop, the notion of a ‘post-race’ America and the near utopian optimism that has surrounded the 44th President are in stark contrast to his Party (and ostensibly neo-liberal) policies and the most alarming crisis in capitalism in 80 years.