Review: Cork Midsummer Festival

Cork Midsummer Festival June 14-25, 2017. 

Museum of the Moon

Keen Parent: “Wow, look at all those craters. How do you think they got there?” Non-plussed Child: “Did Neil Armstrong make them?”

There’s probably a decent cartoon plot in that overheard conversation at Luke Jerram’s art installation at CIT, and presumably the impressive piece produced many such exchanges during its stay at the college. Measuring 7m (23ft) in diameter, it’s basically a sphere that has been covered with high-res imagery from NASA photographs and is lit up from the inside.

Unless you own a serious telescope, this is the best view you’ll ever get of the lunar surface.

The Bristol-based artist specialises in such installations — he’d previously put a giant waterslide on a street in his home-town — and with the emphasis on ‘experience’, you don’t get any museum-style information. Hence, there’s no map to tell you which dent is the Sea of Tranquility, or indeed which crater was named after Cork’s adopted son, George Boole. Forget the facts, and just enjoy the ride. One of the selling points of the installation is that it can form the backdrop to suitable events. It has previously been hung over an indoor pool so you could enjoy moonlit swims, and has also been used for concerts. Presumably, they’re inundated with emails from Pink Floyd tribute acts. The plan in Cork, to have Buzz Aldrin use the installation to give a lecture on his travels, was unfortunately scuppered due to the astronaut’s ill-health. It’s a pity — he could probably have explained why he and his pals made all those craters.

Dream of Light

The Granary

This charming show from Cork-based Guillaume Cousson mixed circus, dance and magic with a superb soundtrack designed by Eat My Noise. Cousson is of French-Lao extraction, and his Riuchi incarnation explores the Asian side of his heritage. There’s no need for words as we get a body-popping alchemist, a sword-wielding warrior and various other characters and vignettes. Highlight of the lot was a sequence of mesmerising hand movements which momentarily transported us under water for a slow-motion interplay of cephalodic creatures.


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