YUPA STAR - some kind of memorial
Shipsides and Beggs Projects.
HD video 13min.
Over the last three years, Shipsides and Beggs have been working on an open-ended creative research project in the Italian Dolomites based around a type of mountaineering called Via Ferrata (meaning the “iron way”) which was developed during WW1 as a way of accessing strategic summits.
The source of the YUPA STAR video installation is a Via Ferrata route they climbed over night to the summit of Cima Lagazuoi in the Dolomites. This route is unusual because it goes up the inside of the mountain – an ascent of 400 meters. The tunnels and shafts were engineered in order to detonate explosives and destroy the Austrian gun emplacements on the summit. The route emerges on the blasted summit where numerous forms of unofficial and official memorials are encountered.
From this experience the artwork mutates around conflations of narratives, interests and creative development combining political and military history, religion, counter-culture and popular music references.
These ideas are bound up in the shape of the five pointed star, a visual metaphor for the nation, the state, the flag, the sign of the Orange Order, left wing politics, right wing politics, a sign of rebellion, a Rock and Pop emblem, celebrity, and the cosmos. In this sense the work shifts through time from the ‘Great War”, to the 1970’s and to present day.
In linking seemingly disparate experiences, narratives and references - ranging from a creative experiential approach to art and life to local politics and religion, pan European narratives of WW1 to the banalities and revelries of popular culture and science – YUPA STAR throw up difficult renderings and incomplete arguments – however it also offers fluid open meanings and the potential for re-imagining or destabilizing assumed meaning.
nb. YUPA is the phonetic spelling of Dan's two and a half year old son trying to pronounce Europe or Europa.