Published by the South London Gallery on the occasion of Laurie Robins: Free Trade Or Else, 8 Mar – 26 May 2019.
Following six months as the SLG Postgraduate Artist-in-Residence, Laurie Robins presented a new film, ‘FREE TRADE OR ELSE’*. In the work, Heinrich Böll’s impressions of Ireland in the 1950s encounter the contemporary Irish landscape. Heinrich Böll’s articles and novels confront the economic transformations of post-war Germany and the political legacy of Fascism. He travelled to Ireland repeatedly, and chronicled his observations in the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, later compiling them into Irisches Tagebuch (Irish Journal). ‘FREE TRADE OR ELSE’* follows his journey and looks at the traces of capitalism, imperialism and resistance in the places he described; asking its viewers to be attentive to the forces of history.
*Placards hung on the cannons of the 1778 Irish Volunteers.
James Connolly, Labour in Irish History (London: Bookmarks, 1987), 61
Edited by Laurie Robins and designed by Wolfe Hall. With contributions from Martin Brady, Helen Hughes, Ying Sze Pek, Grace Phillips and Joe Riley.