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John Carson: Timelines 1975-2008

January 8 – February 7, 2009

Monroe-Brown Gallery

During Carson's final year at the College of Art and Design in Belfast, he worked on a number of projects that explored geographical and social aspects of the Belfast and Carrickfergus area, where he grew up. This project took Carson out of the art school building and into the streets, the countryside, and peoples' homes. In Friend Map (1975-77) Carson visited everyone in the area who was a friend or relation, photographed them in their homes and placed the photographs on a map in the appropriate location.

Reflecting on his Friend Map project of 1975-76, Carson realized that none of the people who participated in that work had been given any voice in the work. Consequently he decided to revisit the project some 30 years later and began a series of video interviews with the people from the Friend Map who he had managed to track down again. Carson has asked each of them a set of questions to prompt them to reflect on their lives over the last 30 years and to consider how the reality of their lives today compares to any aspirations they might have had in 1976-77. Carson also hoped to discover how political events in Northern Ireland might have influenced their lives.