This billboard was created as part of the Project Art's Centre's "Whip It Up and Start Again" initiative. The brief asked respondents to make an observation or statement about the current state of Dublin. This billboard points out how the capital is turning into a city-sized Good Room.
Growing up, many of us remember the Irish phenomenon of the Good Room. Filled with kitschy trinkets, it was off limits to those living in the house, unless someone perceived as more important (i.e local doctor or priest) were to darken the door.
While we no longer not put rooms aside for visits by doctors or priests, Dublin city council still rampantly puts public space aside for hotel chains and multinationals at the expense of those living in, or trying to live, in Dublin. With more and more cultural spaces being eroded and living costs pricing natives out of the city, it’s starting to seem like Dublin residents “can look but not touch”, as we was the rule in any Good Room.
Using kitschy objects typically found in a mid-century Irish Good Room (an antique lampshade in this case), This billboard criticises the absurd “Goodroomification” of Dublin. The statue of Jim Larkin, a staunch Socialist, appears confused and bewildered in this context, reflecting a collective exhaustion of trying to keep pace with Dublin's living costs. It also encourages a conversation around ownership of Dublin and acts as a call to arms to protect it from further deteriorating into a gaudy shell of its formerly vibrant self.