David Lilburn
University of Limerick, Ireland.
Telephone: 00 353 61 202040,
6 Stonetown Tce. O'Callaghan Strand,
Limerick, Ireland.
Telephone: 00 353 61 327271
Mobile: 00 353 86 6041385

Joachim Fischer
Language and Cultural Studies, University of Limerick, Ireland
Telephone: 00 353 61 202351
Ballina / Killaloe, Co. Clare, Ireland

Paper: “Tales of Four Cities, Moscow – Warsaw - Berlin - Dublin: Irish and German Refractions”

Our aim is to situate printmaking in a broad context by focussing both, on the cultural determination for different readings of cultural artefacts, as well as aspects of the intellectual and inspirational processes involved in printmaking.

David Lilburn has recently completed a large print, In Medias Res, which is currently exhibited in the National Library of Ireland. Commissioned as part of last year’s Bloomsday Centenary, it is based on the artist’s reading of James Joyce’s Ulysses, which was first published in 1922 and is a key work in literary modernism.

This image of a city although describing Dublin in 1904 belongs very much to the 1920’s. Written in Trieste and Paris, it is just as much a European text as it is a landmark in the Irish literary tradition. In order to contextualize Ulysses we will direct our attention to cultural texts from and about four European cities of the 1920’s.

The selection of examples are determined as much by the location of conference in Berlin and Poznan as by our own interests. We include: a clip from Dziga Vertov’s film classic Man with a movie camera (which depicts Moscow in the 1920s. Vertov’s techniques of capturing the dynamic and constant movement as well as the complexity if not ordered chaos of everyday life in all its social and political differentiations will be the focus of our attention); selected short texts and poems dealing with Warsaw and in particular its Jewish cultural dimension, (the Jewish cultural influence was a key ingredient of 1920s European city life; it is also  inJoyce’s Ulysses in which the protagonist, Leopold Bloom, is a Jew); drawings and prints by George Grosz’s of 1920s Berlin,  and lastly images of Dublin from Ulysses and In Medias Res, in an attempt to reveal some ways historical text and its graphic illustration aremade meaningful in our age.

Our paper is cross-cultural in its orientation and intends to highlight the specificity of reading cultural texts that results from the respective national cultural background of the reader/spectator and the artist. In order to emphasize this aspect our presentation will be in our native languages, English and German.

DAVID LILBURN is an artist, whose current work predominantly involves the graphic processes of drawing and printmaking.  He studied history and political science at Trinity College Dublin, (MA); lithography at the Scuole D’Arte, Urbino and art and design at Limerick School of Art and Design, (Dip. AD), where he has taught for a number of years.  His recent commissions include “In Medias Res”, for the James Joyce Ulyses Exhibition, National Library of Ireland, 2004; “The Courthouse Maps”, andFrieze”, two commissions for Limerick County Council, 2002/2003; “Coastline”, Irish Pavilion, “Expo”, Hamburg, 2000; and “A map for City Hall”, Millennium Project 2000, Dublin Corporation.  His recent printmaking awards include First prize, ‘Impressions’, open print award, Galway, Ireland, 2004; “Michael Byrne Award for Printmakers”, administered by the Arts Council of Ireland, 2002;  “Mary Farl Powers Printmaking Award”, 2000, administered by the Arts Council of Ireland, 2001; and First prize, Second Limerick Mini-Print Exhibition, 2000. Lilburn has works in numerous public collections, including the Office of Public Works, Ireland; University of Limerick; National Self-Portrait Collection; National Collection of Artists Books, NCAD; National Collection of Contemporary Drawing, LCGA; Palazzo della Penna, Perugia; National University of Ireland, Cork; Dublin Corporation;  AIB; Guinness; MIC, Limerick; Limerick Corporation; Shannon Development Company; National University of Ireland, Cork. Crawford Municipal Gallery, Ireland. Working with Jim Savage of Occasional Press, he is producing Berger on Drawing and anthology of writings on drawing by John Berger. At IMPACT 3 in Cape Town he presented “Urbs Antiqua Fuit Studisque Asperrima in Causa Belli - (Re)Presenting the City (in Print).”

JOACHIM FISCHER is a Senior Lecturer in German, Joint Director of the Centre for Irish-German Studies, and Deputy Director of the Ralahine Centre for Utopian Studies at the University of Limerick. He teaches courses in German cinema, German cultural history, 19th century German literature, history of the German language, German-Irish connections, and Cultural Studies. His research interests include The history of Irish-German relations; the Irish image of  Germany; national images and stereotypes; travel literature; popular culture; Irish (Gaelic) German translations; and utopian studies. Fischer’s most recent publications include “The eagle that never landed: a history of uses and abuses of the German language in Ireland” in Languages in Ireland edited by M. Cronin and C. Ó Cuilleanáin (2003) and “Aspects of the Irish reception of German culture: Goethe Schubert et al.” in Goethe and Schubert: Across the Divide edited by L. Byrne and D. Farrelly (2003).