Digital arts installation ‘Mise en Lumières’ launches French Embassy’s ‘Year of the French’ programme and Ballina 2023 partnership
Thursday, February 2, 2023, 6pm
Humbert Memorial, Humbert St, Ballina, County Mayo
The first public event of Ballina 2023, a year-long programme of events celebrating the 300th anniversary of the formal establishment of the town will welcome French Ambassador to Ireland, Vincent Guérend to Ballina, where he will unveil a new digital arts installation at Humbert St on Thursday, February 2 at 6pm. Presented by Ballina 2023, the French Embassy in Ireland, Mayo County Council, Ballina Municipal District and In Humbert’s Footsteps, Mise en Lumières is an audio-visual performance produced by French creative digital start-up ENTER.black, which highlights the architectural & historical features of monuments. The installation, which uses light and sound, will be on display at the Humbert Memorial Monument, Ballina from 6pm to 10pm each evening from Thursday, February 2 to Saturday, February 4.
The Year of the French
The unveiling will signal the launch the ‘Year of the French’/’Bliain na bhFrancach’/’L’Année des Français’, a year-long initiative celebrating the long-lasting friendship between Ireland and France, and will also mark the first milestone in a year-long collaboration between Ballina 2023, The French Embassy, Mayo County Council, Ballina Municipal District and In Humbert’s Footsteps to mark the 225th anniversary of the French landing in nearby Kilcummin, led by General Humbert on August 22, 1798, and the 200th anniversary of General Humbert’s death.
Several events across a range of sectors will take place during the year to celebrate the historical and cultural links between both countries including planting 225 trees of liberty, the Year of the French Festival in Ballina running August 18-22, living history events with re-enactors, seminars, screening of the 1982 mini TV series ‘The Year of the French’ from the eponymous book by Thomas Flanagan, and a 1798 exhibition in Ballina’s Jackie Clarke Collection.
The significance of the year marks an important moment for Franco-Irish friendships, as the short-lived successes of 1798 and the values of the newly established French Republic of ‘Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité’’ have remained in the wider Irish imagination. In 2023, both milestone anniversaries represent an occasion to reflect on to these shared values in a contemporary context. Links between the two countries have never been closer, with France now Ireland’s closest EU neighbour.
Mise en Lumières
Initially presented at the Palais Galliera (Musée de la Mode, Paris), the Mise en Lumières performance has been adapted to The Humbert Memorial (Ballina) for its first appearance in Ireland. During a weeklong residency, ENTER.black will also engage with young people locally through free creative digital workshops. ENTER.black has been shortlisted and is currently participating in Cybernate, the first Digital Arts Research Residency in public spaces between France and Ireland aimed at developing links and fostering new opportunities for collaboration around creative technology and digital practices.
Through digital technology and a contemporary approach, this new installation aims to engage the audience, local community and young people in celebrating our shared historical links while looking at the future of our strengthened relations in all aspects (people to people, cultural, political, etc.).
Admission to Mise en Lumières is free and open to the public, and further information on the ‘Year of the French’is available on the French Embassy website: https://ie.ambafrance.org/Digital-arts-installation-Mise-en-Lumieres-to-launch-Year-of-the-French-Bliain and at www.ballina2023.ie.