Elinor O’Donovan

Warp Spasm
Laneway Gallery, Cork, IE

In 2002, Irish football fans were rocked by a public quarrel between Republic of Ireland football captain Roy Keane and manager Mick McCarthy, which took place during preparations for the 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan. The Saipan Incident resulted in Keane, Ireland’s star player, being sent home from the squad and the event left the nation largely divided as to who was to blame. Facts and rumours about the Saipan Incident spread, trickling down from media coverage into pub conversations and workplace chat.

I was six years old when the Saipan Incident took place, and my knowledge of the event is limited to jokes, pub anecdotes, and references made to the event by the football fans which comprise my friends and family members. Leaning into these personal biases and the fallibility of memory, Warp Spasm through installation and digital collage, is my attempt to piece together fragments of a recent history.

Warp Spasm is an ode to rumours and Roy Keane, looking at how gossip and hearsay becomes myth. It is a an exploration of half-formed knowledge and how we learn to get by with loosely constructed ideas of events propping up greater cultural narratives. It is a tongue-in-cheek tribute to celebrities, and how legends are created in Irish culture (the title references the riastrad, the terrifying battle frenzy of the legendary warrior Cú Chulainn).

elinor.odonovan (at) hotmail.com