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FOR A COLLEGE MODULE starting this coming week (I’m reading for an MA at University College, Cork, Digital Arts and Humanities) we’ve been asked to select five ‘Desert Island’ pieces of art (‘Desert Island Discs’ is a long-running BBC radio show, the format for which is that some worthy brings into the radio studio seven pieces of music which they’d like to be able to listen to if they found themselves stranded on a desert island; in the course of the programme the Desert Island Discs host plays the selection — excerpts at any rate — and the guest talks about the where, when, and why of hisser selection). Here (below) is my art list for the college module exercise. I have not spent too much time thinking about it (we had to post it to a discussion board on ‘Blackboard’, which is UCC’s online teaching platform) and I did so in fairly short order so that I could tick another item ‘done’ on my To Do list; and so therefore, I suppose, I might well write a different list on another day, but, nevertheless, for what it’s worth, here it is….[PS: I’m surprised by the modernity of it — almost all 20th century!]…

1. An exhibition on (or of) the work of Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957); here, for example, is a short YouTube piece on one of Brancusi’s most celebrated creations ‘Bird in Space’ (1928):

2. Do something with J.G. Farrell’s Empire Trilogy novels: Troubles (1970), The Seige of Krishnapur (1973), and Singapore Grip (1978); and, assuming money is no object, then that ‘something’ would include commissioning film versions of all three [J.G. Farrell, 1935-79]


3. Abdullah Ibrahim [and band]’s ‘Jabolani’ [Joy] (1968) — torn between this and John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme:


4. The music of John Adams (b. 1947); almost anything by him really but here, for example, is an excerpt from his opera Nixon in China — Kathleen Kim giving it welly for ‘I am the wife of Mao Tse-tung’:

5. The work of choreographer Pina Bausch (1940-2009) of the dance theatre of Wuppertal (in Germany); this here is a really wonderful tribute piece on her life & work (Bausch is/was one of the truly great artists of the 20th century):