Siamsa Tíre

The Pit and Other Stories

Breda Lynch

The Pit and Other StoriesThe Pit and Other Stories

The body is always at risk of twisting from the human to the monstrous.”

An early childhood memory of a dream sequence from the 1948 film ‘The Snake Pit’ became the focus of documented video installation. Utilizing strategies of cinematic appropriation the presented video installation ‘The Pit’ uses the remembered sequence where the main character Virginia finds herself in the most chaotic ward in the asylum. This scene conjures up horror, which lies in the threat to humanity and humanness, both individual and collective.
 
Thursday’s Clinic as a photographic series, references the language of hysteria as described in the extensive collection of photographs shot by 19th century neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot at Saltpetriere Hospital in Paris of his medical muses. Much of the horror in such films is predicated on threats to the body particularly the female body, either through its destruction, dissolution, convulsion, fragmentation, disempowerment or death.
 
The depictions of these bodies have histories; some motifs of posture and gesture are so persistent in visual culture as to suggest a valid trans-historicity, a kind of collective memory of forms.  The destruction of self, emblematized by loss of face and voice, involuntary contortions of the body, which pushes this body out of its physical, psychological and social margins are central concerns of this research and the resultant artwork.
 
Breda Lynch is a visual artist living and working in Limerick, Ireland. She received her BA Hons degree at the Crawford College of Art, Cork, MA from Chelsea College of Art, London and an MPhil from the University of Wolverhampton, England. She has mounted solo shows in Ireland and Northern Ireland.