New History From Beyond The Pale

IRELAND AND ITS ARTISTS are in the process of assembling a new cultural matrix that is of particular significance at the end of the 20th century, when it is suddenly growing possible to pass through the network of classifications that normally locate and hold positions in cultural space. New navigations of identity are emerging internationally; perhaps unexpectedly, Ireland is in their forefront. The deep cultural and therefore political fault lines that invisibly underpin the Modernist imaginative space of the West are exposed at the surface in Ireland, which still inhabits that moment of shift from the pre-Modern to the Modern. We have sought to overcome this condition called “progress”; actually, it’s what we have to offer the world. The negotiation of identity is a familiar process in Ireland, for the articulation of modernity has never been resolved here. The territory has remained

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