MASER’s now iconic Repeal the 8th mural has returned to the exterior of the Project Arts Centre in Temple Bar having been removed due to planning legislation.
With the upcoming referendum, the Project Arts have now revived the iconic mural having found legal grounds for displaying the artwork in the planning and development regulations.
Artistic Director of the Project Arts Centre, Cian O’Brien told GCN: “It first went up in July 2016 and we had to take it down because of planning legislation. Maser is an incredible artist who I’m proud to support and also the work also had a major impact on a political, social and human rights movement.
“In my research I found planning and development regulations 2001 schedule 2 part 2 exempt developments class 14: “mural is not subject to planning permission [in the context of the upcoming referendum]” so that legislation we believe allows us to put back up artwork that we didn’t fully get to properly present at the centre.
“I think it will be very interesting in the context of the upcoming referendum to see how an artwork that has become I suppose so emblematic of the campaign, how people respond to that. I’m really excited to see it going back up and to be working with Hunreal issues and Maser again.”
In our September 2016 issue, we were the first publication to put the now famous mural on our cover for reasons which Editor Brian Finnegan outlined in the Editor’s Letter that month:
“Back when I was but a babe in arms (well maybe not that long ago) BBC Radio banned Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s single ‘Relax’ from its airwaves. The result? An instant cult classic that everyone wanted to get their hands on – it shot to number one and became one of the top ten selling singles in British history.
“I was reminded of ‘Relax’ when Dublin City Council insisted that Maser’s Repeal the 8th mural be removed from the front of the Project Arts Centre last month, saying it was in violation of the Planning & Development Acts (2000-2015), even though previous murals like the one advocating a Yes vote in the marriage referendum elicited no such warnings.
“The banning of ‘Relax’ only served to amplify it, and so too has the removal of Maser’s mural. It’s begun to pop up everywhere, and people are not only recreating it in various locations and wearing it on badges and t-shirts to show support for the Repeal of the 8th amendment, but as an act of defiance in the face of forces who might quash political art because they fear its power or those who believe public pieces of art should not challenge the status quo.
“It is for these three reasons we chose to put Maser’s mural image on the cover of this month’s GCN. The censorship of any form of politically challenging art should be of concern to us all, but more so should the equality of women in Ireland, particularly to us the LGBT community who know only too well what inequality and powerlessness over our own lives have meant.”
Listen to Q+A Episode 4: Queer and the 8th wherever you get your podcasts, on audioboom, or listen directly below:
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