Project Arts Centre presents



Dates: 24 Sep - 24 Sep

Show Time: 7.00pm

An evening of lectures, discussion and consumption in the dark…
With Toby Dennett, Brian Dillon and Declan Long


In the Dark is planned to unfold as one of the many characters in the exhibition Nonknowledge. The evening of public dialogue, led by the writers Brian Dillon and Declan Long, will create further avenues of access to the exhibition, while also providing escape routes and dead ends, and turn about on itself to expose the fragility of expectation around ideas relating to the way we think. Both Dillon and Long have well established reputations as sharp critical analysts – but have been invited to Project with a more openly artistic intention:

“In my talk I’ll attempt to speak out of and into the dark as much as about the dark. The intimacy between ignorance and darkness is so long immured in our language that it seems almost banal to bring it to light: when we’re feeling especially dim, we talk about being in the dark and blindly stumbling over the truth. But darkness is as much a metaphor for discovery as for concealment or oblivion: according to an ancient understanding of the night, darkness is not the absence of light but a substance in itself, a sort of fog or miasma that rises around us at dusk. The enveloping dark links us physically with the object of our (non-)knowledge, and also with each other: it’s in the dark that we trust each other with our most intimate secrets. From St. Augustine to Descartes, John Donne to Nabokov, there exists an alternative history of the dark, of the populous void into which, after all, as artists or writers or teachers, we are always speaking.”
Brian Dillon

Extending the sensorial experience beyond the aural and discursive, amateur gastronomist Toby Dennett is creating an array of textures, tastes and combinations to be gradually consumed throughout the evening. Declan Long will also be presenting a set of ideas which explore the dark and all that it holds, represents, and proffers. Unable to see one’s neighbour, or to be distracted by social awkwardness, the audience is actively implicated in a discussion without form – for neither of the speakers can glance at a sheet of notes for reassurance, or refer to a quote in front of them. Everything is remembered, for better or for worse, and with a room full of prompters in case the road is lost.

“He thought that each memory recalled must do some violence to its origins. As in a party game. Say the word and pass it on. So be sparing. What you alter in the remembering has yet a reality, known or not.” (Cormack McCarthy, The Road)

With many thanks in advance to Brian, Declan and Toby, the audience, and to the spoon assistants – Niamh O’Malley and Charlotte Moth.

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