Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mind Your Head

Well it was raining and I hesitated to get the camera out. Spatters of rain were falling on the lens and I wanted to be on my way. But the crane was interesting as it made its way between the two Temple Bar streets, I'm not sure doing what exactly. This part of the city is barred to traffic in theory - but not here. We shall not complain, since the area we know as Temple Bar was very nearly demolished in favour of a bus station. It's now known as the cultural quarter but we do have to be careful with such terms. Culture is "functionalised consumption" with exactly the same planned obsolescence and waste that is part of our overall system. Everyone knows this, yet Dublin would be the poorer without its small specialist shops - especially those aimed at collectors. People make journeys across Ireland just to visit these stores - because the journey and its recollection adds a layer of interest to the collected object. Yet to call this a cultural quarter really adds nothing to our understanding of spatial relations. Rather it relegates this to a category. The space in which we live, lies in the sediment of history and underneath is nature - the old river bank from which Temple Bar derives its name. Is it dispiriting or exciting to be part of the sedimentation process, I wonder? Existentialist psychotherapists describe the hardening of attitudes in old age as sedimentation, but I feel that in some way, we are all sedimented products of our past.