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HOW TO DISAPPEAR

This site is to archive How To Disappear by Stephen Rennicks. An art project  from 2010 which documented a group of people he came across and befriended somewhere in the north-west of Ireland. They have been living in harmony with nature without the use of money since the 1970s.

Below are the original wall mounted texts from the exhibition (which were also included in a booklet) which was shown in a disused shopping arcade taken over by the Altern/Native collective as an offsite space during the Boyle Arts Festival in Co. Roscommon. They gave the background to what the project was about. 

In 2008, somewhere in the North-West of Ireland, the artist was out hill walking where he had never been before when something made him follow a stream through a forest. When he emerged he was above a sheltered valley and just below he could see a collection of wooden and glass houses, pastures, animals and people. Some of these persons had already noticed him and he instinctively waved, they waved back and he went to meet them. This was how he stumbled upon a small tribe of four extended families which have since their transition period in the 1970’s been living in relative harmony with nature. He learnt that they live a very contented, secure and simple life; most significantly without the use of money or any alternate system to it. They told him it had all started from one person, a wigwam and the desire to disappear. As he got to know them he asked if it would be possible to document them through an art project. They agreed as long as it didn’t reveal their identities or location. This show includes some of the images, objects, sounds and philosophy of The Tribe. How to disappear, you already know how.

“While The Tribe did not choose this life for purely environmental reasons I’m more interested in that when they were entering their transition period, concepts of sustainability, recycling and leaving no carbon footprint etc were just beginning to gain traction with the public. Today these ideas are just part of a lifestyle choice which still includes working in jobs we don’t much care for, using money and sending children to school to partly repeat this same cycle. But if these principles were followed to their logical conclusion you could have a ticket out of society as it now stands if you so chose. I’m interested in the paradox that we live in a capitalist system which yet can preach ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ and excited about the possibility that in the very long term if enough people followed this model a silent revolution could occur which formed a new society. Perhaps one which had these values as a foundation and not merely an accessory. In this context I see The Tribe offering solutions, inspiration and intrigue.” – Stephen Rennicks

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