The work Ludique is sited in the Historical Georgian building which is home to Gaelscoil Lios na nÓg is based in Cullenswood House in Ranelagh, where Pádraig Pearse first established the first Irish Speaking school before moving to St.Enda's in Rathfarnham. The building itself is a stunning piece of Georgian architecture married with contemporary architectural extensions which received commendation from the RIAI architectural awards.
The word 'Ludique' comes from the French word Ludo, meaning "to play". Ludique has no direct translation in Irish or English but references a state of mind, a period of daydream where the imagination is at play. For this public art project, the artist proposed to create little interventions in a working space that would allow imagination to interact with the everyday. These interventions manifest themselves as "Clocks" or dioramas where actions or happenings undertake during certain points of the day.
The school operates under a series of hidden systems that were adopted by the school community during the natural course of the school’s timetable. These systems had to be put in place due to the compact nature and concentration of space in the school. At no particular point of the day is the whole school population in any one place of the building. Lunch times, library times, access to the Halla Rince (dance hall) are all negotiated through a tight management of time-tabling, in order to utilise the resources of the school. Each class has a different lunch time, and the school operates like a well oiled machine in order to meet pupil centric educational, physical, virtual and social needs.
The artist Aideen Barry responded to these practical notions of systems by contriving a series of mechanical and clockwork artworks that “play” out an action at various points of the day. The artist aimed to marry the practical with the imaginative in a wunderkammer of objects and instruments, that come to life at key points of the day. Barry cites the importance of day dream as necessary indulgence for a child, and for the formation of thought, ideas and independent creativity. Fostering this idea as a particular need in schooling philosophy.
Barry also sites her exposure to Eastern European filmmakers and animation artists during her own childhood in the 1980’s for the inspiration for some of the juxtapositions of the clockwork scenarios. During the 1980‘s RTE would play a number of these works at prime time slots in the evening. The artist has stated that the exposure to such imagination had a profound impact on her visual language and interest in phenomenology. In particular the animations by Jan Svankmajer?s films including the deeply imaginative and disturbing films such as Alice (1983) Darkness/Light/Darkness (1986) and Food (1987).
There are 5 kinetic sculptural works in the Ludique project.
In English: The Symphony of Scissors
The first of the works entitled, The Symphony of Scissors, is a mechanical animation of objects. At certain times of the day the 'scissor symphony' will come to life. The scissors open and close feverishly for a period of approximately 30 seconds. The snipping sounds and the behaviour of the scissor symphony echo the behaviour of chicks in a nest, restless in anticipation of their mother bringing them a worm, but it also provokes the imagination into thinking about a chorus of an opera. Barry’s Symphony is made up of a number of different personalities, there is a Baritone, (The Crimper Scissors), a Soprano (The Surgical Scissors) and a Tenor (The Tailoring Scissors). The artist spent over a year collecting these different personalities, from car boot sales and flea markets around Europe, in order to make up this musical ensemble. As they open and close frantically the scissor generate a noise, snip, snip, snip, alerting the children that its time to start class or get their bags packed for home.
As Gaeilge: Siansa na Siosúr
Is beochan mheicniúil nithe Siansa na Siosúr. Ag amanna áirithe sa lá tiocfaidh beocht i Siansa na Siosúr. Osclaíonn agus druideann na siosúir ar mire ar feadh tuairim agus tríocha soicind. Is aithris an fhuaim shniosarnach agus iompar siansa na siosúr ar mhaicíneacht na scolamán sa nead, iad tógtha agus ag dúil leis an mháthair péist a thabhairt chucu ach corraíonn sé an tsamhlaíocht le bheith ag smaoineamh ar churfá i gceoldráma. I ndéantús an tSiansa s'agam tá roinnt phearsana; tá an Baratón (An Siosúr Rocaireachta), an Soprán (An Siosúr Máinliachta) agus an Teanór (An Siosúr Táilliúrachta). Chaith Aideen Barry níos mó ná bliain ag cruinniú na bpearsan ó dhíolacháin bhúiteanna carr agus ó margaidh na míol fríd an Eoraip lena go bhféadfainn an comhluadar ceoil a chur le chéile. Gineann na siosúir trop agus iad ag oscailt agus ag druid le báiní; sciot, sciot, sciot, ag cur ar na súile do na páistí go bhfuil sé in am tús a chur le rang nó a málaí a líonadh le tarraingt ar an bhaile.
In English: The Causality Clock
The Causality Clock operates on the notion of causality: when a butterfly flaps its wings in one place of the world it causes a tornado effect on the other, this clock is loosely based on the Chaos Theory. As the flapping butterflies begin to move they trigger the pin wheels to turn above. This Clock goes off every hour on the hour in the school, so that at any one time a class will catch it in motion. This school operates on its own system of chaos: moving large classrooms of children and staff around at regular and irregular intervals during the day.
As Gaeilge: An Clog Cúisíochta
Oibríonn an Clog Cúisíochta ar choincheap na cúisíochta: nuair a bhuaileann péileacán a sciatháin cruthaíonn sé tionchar tornádó ar an taobh eile, tá an clog seo bunaithe go scaoilte ar Theoiric an Anoird. Nuair a thosaíonn an péileacán ag bualadh na sciathán agus ag bogadh scaoiltear rothaí pionna a chasann timpeall. Seasann an roth pionna do ghluaiseacht shruthanna aeir. Buaileann an clog seo gach uair an chloig ar an uair sa scoil, mar sin ag am ar bith béarfaidh rang air i mbun gluaiseachta. Feidhmíonn an scoil ar a córas féin ainoird, ag aistriú ranganna mór páistí agus foirne timpeall ag tráthanna rialta agus neamhrialta sa lá. Murab ionann agus gluaiseacht ainoird is acra sárolaithe é, ar dhóigh inteacht éiríonn le na páistí a mbealach isteach a dhéanamh chuig an chlós, an halla damhsa agus an leabharlann agus iad ag foghlaim le na háiseanna atá acu a roinnt. Meaitseáiltear an t-anoird agus an t-ord. Tá súil fosta go ndaingneoidh na cloig na gluaiseachtaí comhordaithe seo sa scoil, ag díriú aird na bpáistí ar amanna áirithe sosa, amanna baile, tús ranganna, deireadh le ceacht agus ar uile.
In English: The Rainbow Maker
A hare holds a prism in its two paws. At a certain time of the day he is mechanically unfolded to hold the prism up to a beam of light. The beam of light passes through the prism and causes white light to be broken into the stream of a rainbow. The rainbow is quite dainty and can be caught on your hand if you are in the correct position when it appears. The hare is a taxidermied animal. The Irish hare has a preservation order on it as it is an endangered species. This hare was used humanely as it was found knocked down on the side of the road. In Irish mythology the hare is a sacred animal, know to turn from one form into another. The Rainbow Maker clock will only operate from the period of one hour, after an hour it will return to its original curled up position upon another cue from its motorised timer.
As Gaelige: Déantóir an Thuair Cheatha
Bíonn greim ag giorria mótaraithe ar phriosma ina dhá lapa. Ag amanna áirithe sa lá dífhilltear é leis an phriosma a choinneál suas roimh gha solais. Téann an ga solais fríd an phriosma agus dá bharr nítear solas bán a bhriseadh ina shraith thuar ceatha. Is cúirialta don tuar ceatha agus is féidir breith ar do láimh má bhíonn tú san áit cheart nuair a nochtann sé. Is ainmhí seitheadóirithe an Giorra. Tá ordú caomhnaithe ar an ghiorria in Éirinn mar gur speiceas faoi bhagairt atá ann. Baineadh úsáid go daonúil as an ghiorria mar go bhfuarthas é agus é leagtha ar thaobh an bhóthair. Feidhmeoidh Clog Dhéantóir an Thuair Cheatha ar feadh uaire agus tar éis uaire fillfidh sé ar a shuí cuachach ach leide a fháil ón uaineadóir mótaraithe.
In English: The Galloping Snails
Playing with the notion of exaggerating reality, the artist created a hyper-reality whereby snails gallop around a race course. Like a 'Scalextric' track that usually is seen with miniature Formula 1 cars racing around chicanes and hair pin bends, Barry subverted the image with a galloping snail mechanism. The snails race around a floating track suspended in mid air, the track is made of a clear plastic which looks a lot like the slime you see snails leave behind on the ground and each day a new winner of an imaginary race wins on this gravity defying spaghetti junction race course.
As Gaeilge: Seilidí ar Cosa in Airde
Ag meabhrú ar choincheap na réaltachta áiféise chruthaigh Aideen Barry hipear-réaltacht le seilidí ag sodar thart ar ráschúrsa. Cosúil le rian Skalelectrics a fheicter de ghnáth le mioncharranna Foirmle 1 agus rásaíocht thart ar “chicane” nó ar chorthaí bioracha rinne sí treascairt ar an íomhá le meicneachas de Sheilide ag Sodar. Bíonn na Seilidí ag rásaíocht thart ar rian atá ar snámh san aer. Is as plaisteach soiléir a rinneadh an rian agus é cosúil leis an slam a fhágann seilidí ar an talamh agus gach lá baineann buaiteoir an rása shamhlaíoch ar an rianrás acomhail spaigití domhantharraingthe séantaí.
In English: The Bird Song Cabinet
The bird's song is generated when the chosen bird, be it Thrush, Black Bird or Yellow Tit, lowers his or her beak down onto the gramophone record. Just as their beaks touch the record, it will emit the sound of that bird. The bird's song emerges from the horn of the gramophone which sits in a nest of found objects, jewelry, bird eggs, keys, coins and other hidden treasures. In the shelves next to the bird song cabinet are books on Irish wild life, Irish birds and a publication documenting the Ludique project. Like the other works in the Ludique project, this work is created to inspire imagination, to convince us that the birds come to life at certain points in the day to fill the library with bird song.
As Gaeilge: Caibinéad Cheol na nÉan
Gintear ceol na n-éan nuair a íslíonn an t-éan tofa i. Smólach, Lon Dubh nó Meantán a g(h)ob ar cheirnín gramafóin. Díreach nuair a bhuaileann a ngoib an ceirnín scaoilfidh sé fuaim an éin sin. Tagann ceol an éin as adharc an ghramafóin atá ina shuí i nead nithe; seodra, uibheacha éin, eochracha, boinn airgid, agus taiscí folaithe eile. Ar na seilfeanna taobh le caibinéad cheol na n-éan bíonn leabhair ar fhiabheatha na hÉireann, éin na hÉireann agus foilseachán a ríomhann tionscamh Ludique. Díreach cosúil le na hoibreacha eile i dtionscnamh an Ludique cruthaíonn an saothar seo spreagadh samhlaíochta, ag cur ina luí orainn go saolaítear na héin ag amanna áirithe sa lá leis an leabharlann a líonadh le ceol na n-éan.