John Carson | Pittsburgh City Paper

John Carson 
Member since Mar 12, 2007


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Re: “We take an Irishman to Tides, an exhibition of work by artists from Northern Ireland.

Dear Sherrie Flick If there is ever an exhibition of American artists in a gallery in Belfast, would you recommend that I stop the first American tourist passing by and invite them in to explain it to me? How does being born in the Republic of Ireland and moving to Pittsburgh 47 years ago qualify Antoine Leyn as an expert on contemporary art from Northern Ireland? How nice to know that he still has sisters in Ireland. I hope they are well. It would be useful for your readers to know that the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are two completely different political entities and have been for the last 86 years. Maybe a Canadian tourist would be a better bet to help me interpret an American exhibition in Belfast. Your readers and potential visitors to the exhibition would have been better served with a more responsible and better researched piece of journalism than the review which appeared in last weeks City Paper. I am sure that a request to gallery staff would have provided you with helpful background information or a quick visit to the Miller Gallery website listed on the available poster. As much as Antoine Leyn is entitled to his opinions, why should he be put in the position of having to provide ill informed interpretations of the artworks on display for a reviewer who seemingly could not be bothered to do any background work. In place of an intelligent art review why would you prefer to foist on your readers piffle about pirates and wild prejudicial generalizations such as people in Ireland being "pushed aside by the immigrants", insurgents not being bright and everyone in Ireland these days just being out to make money. In your final paragraph you say that "Antoine felt that he hadn't done his job". It was your job that Antoine didn't do very well and neither did you. If any one is seriously interested in finding out more about the background to this exhibition and the Northern Irish context out of which it comes, there is a panel discussion at the Miller Gallery at 6pm on Thursday March 22nd. Four Carnegie Mellon Professors will offer perspectives on the TIDES exhibition, discuss the themes and issues raised by the artworks and invite responses from the audience. It is free and all are welcome. Further information on www.cmu.edu/millergallery Yours sincerely John Carson Head of the School of Art, Carnegie Mellon University

Posted by John Carson on 03/12/2007 at 3:00 PM

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