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Fortune, Michael

Michael Fortune
Irish filmmaker


participant in
.CologneOFF IV – Here We Are!
4th edittion of Cologne Online Film Festival – LAB program series

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Video title:

“My Grandfather was taken by the Fairies”
2006, 12:00

My Grandfather was taken by the Fairies is the title of a six-part recording that centres on the artist’s mother, along with six different members of his family, relating superstitious accounts concerning other family members and neighbours.

Each of the fixed frame works were recorded around the artist’s mother’s kitchen table between October 2005 and August 2006 in rural Co. Wexford, Ireland. In each recording the camera moves clockwise around the table capturing not only the imaginary world of the stories but also the physical space of the small kitchen. Each of the six works feature his four sisters and two nieces, all of whom still live at home, as they respond in various ways to the superstitious accounts put forward by his mother.

In this work, stories are seen to define space and territory. Although intangible, these stories are used to map out a physical world around the Fortune household. Through the use of superstitious accounts and stories about herself, her family members and neighbours his mother invites the viewer into her world and maps out the physical space around the Fortune household.

Although the stories are repeated in each recording, each account is individual and personalised depending on the interjection of his sisters or nieces. This particular twelve minute work is derived a larger six-channel video installation.



2.. Video title:
Reigning Cats and Dogs
2007, 15:00

Reigning Cats and Dogs is the title of a video work recorded in the artist’s family home in rural Co. Wexford, Ireland in December 2006. The fifteen-minute video work contains various recordings that frame mini incidents involving the family pets. Filmed from the animal’s perspective, each fixed-frame shot portrays a domestic-styled wildlife documentary where animals co-exist, share and interact in a house full of humans and other animals. Each recording was made at different times and stages of the day and so allows the viewer to witness the calm and chaotic rhythms which exist in the daily household routine.

In each section the viewer is invited into a world in which we see cats fight while feeding to a dog performing tricks, which go unnoticed by humans too busy watching television. This work documents the age-old relationship between animals and humans and explores their personal and shared territories within this domestic environment.