Local visual artist & musician Aoife Ward, Anne Mager, Paddy Bloomer and the first German Electrophonic Orchestra and Marcel Krueger PICTURE: Joseph Carr
In Germany, the topic of borders is officially in the past. They are something we offer tourists guided tours of.
“The concept of borders is something that was also in Ireland’s past, but because of Brexit, it’s become a contemporary topic again.
“I think there is a lot of uncertainty around it. For example, I have friends who are commuting across the Irish border for work and they’re wondering what will happen to their pension next year. No one has figured out the details yet.”
The Dundalk Democrat is speaking with Marcel Krueger, a German author and translator, who is currently working as a copywriter with PayPal in Dundalk, on the topic of borders.
It’s a subject that fascinates the German-born writer - so much so that he, and with his wife, Anne Mager have set up an online platform exploring contemporary visual art along the Dublin toBelfast ‘corridor’.
Their website, TheCorridor.ie, is an ambitious project which they say “serves as a platform for artists and cultural initiatives and at the same time explores their practise, backgrounds and interests”.
The pair have a particular interest in the challenges that Brexit and the new EU’s external borders will bring to Ireland.
Having moved to Dundalk just two years ago, Marcel and his Cologne-born wife Anne, who currently works as an arts curator with the Catalyst Arts Gallery in Belfast (she is also a university lecturer and an author), have dived head first into the local arts scene - an experience they are relishing.
Marcel says: “The quality [of artistic talent] is very, very good here in Dundalk. I think there’s a massive arts scene here for the size of the town.”
Mr. Krueger, who is also an editor for the Icelandic music website, Sonic Iceland, even says he has noticed similarities between the arts scenes in Iceland and Dundalk:
“In Iceland, there are no barriers between visual arts and music. All of the artists are working together and engaging with each other. It’s very similar to the way things are in Dundalk. Everyone is very keen to help each other out.”
Under The Corridor.ie banner, the husband and wife team have hosted four “small events” so far with many more exciting ideas in the pipeline for next year.
One of the groups first projects in Dundalk saw them showcase the work of local visual artist, Aoife Ward as local band the Dandelion Few performed at The Lock Up Studio Rehearsal space off the Castletown Road.
The projects planned for this year sound just as unique - one will involve artists and musicians performing on the Enterprise train as it travels from Dublin to Belfast, making a stop in Dundalk along the way.
Another will involve an open-air concert at the Hill of Faughart . Marcel explained the choice: “We wanted a site that was near where the actual border is.”
See www.thecorridor.ie for more information.