25 Oct 20—01 Nov 20
Éanna Mac Cana

CCA Derry~Londonderry is screening the films of Irish film-maker and video installation artist Éanna Mac Cana for Derry Halloween 2020.

Mac Cana’s films White Weather (2020), Och Ochón (2018) will be shown for the duration of the festival. A new film Swell! (2020) will premiere for this event. The films will be available to view on our website from Sunday 25 October 2020 10am–Sunday 1 November 2020 10pm.

These short conceptual pieces mix imagery belonging to seemingly separate spheres with the intention of sparking ideas of the micro and macro, of trauma and turbulence, of creation and departure.

After Dark: SWELL!

Derry Halloween is very different this year, but that doesn’t stop us from celebrating in creative ways. In the spirit of the season, CCA Derry~Londonderry is also screening the trio of films by Éanna Mac Cana from the gallery’s windows, and can be viewed from outside CCA on Artillery Street and the City Walls. The films will play throughout the day, and will be best viewed after dark. Click here for full details.

SWELL! (2020) 2 Min 50 Sec

Panasonic GH4 Macro Lens, FCPX Screen Recordings & Ultrasound Recordings

This new film ‘Swell!’ (2020) premieres at this event. At the start and end of this short film, Mac Cana creates a cosmic landscape through digital macro lens recordings of an old in static TV and a coffee cup. These images are distorted further through editing, which itself is a part of this piece as he selects screen recordings of his activity on FCPX. The use of ultrasound footage points towards the impact of an uncertain future on new life coming into this world and simultaneously reverberates to a time before birth. The title ‘Swell!’ refers to the soundscape created and in addition is a toast to the exponential times we live in as COVID-19, climate change & increasing socio-political tension infiltrate our daily lives and decisions.

White Weather (2020) 2 Min 05 Sec

Panasonic GH4 Macro Lens, FCPX Masking Tool & Scanned Photographs

In White Weather (2020) the use of black and white allows the heavy ideas to be uncomplicated, allowing Mac Cana to be more subversive with his sonic and visual landscapes. The last few years have been punctuated by tragedy and frustration. Mac Cana attempts to articulate the daze that these type of events can place you in. Recording a succession of disturbances, to present investigation into the mystery of memory.

Och Ochón (2018) 5 Min 16 Sec

This film is a visual response to fear, superstition and mortality developed out of personal experience. Shot on one faulty and one working DCR-TRV33E and with short sequence (Enda in the graveyard, 2004) shot on Canon XHA1. This work takes its generative force from the long standing Irish custom of keening (or Caoineadh) which has waned as a practice in Ireland. Keening is to lament over the deceased, usually taking place at a wake, but sometimes at a funeral. Accounts of keening vary and was typically an impromptu act, usually performed by an older woman. Many incidences involved wailing rather than singing. Keening is older than the Christian missionaries who came to Ireland, and it shares it’s history with the Jews and Arabs. It is seen as a human response to death. In researching these old Irish traditions Mac Cana was inspired to recreate a keening – he wrote a lament, had it translated into Irish and specially performed by actress and storyteller, Frances Quinn, which Mac Cana then recorded. This became part of a wider sequence interspersed with bursts of reflective personal moments and other staged scenes enacted close to the hour of death – all captured in the ‘found footage’ style, popularised in the horror genre. This collage of sequences was mainly filmed using a deteriorating analogue camcorder, reinforcing a Cinéma Vérité approach.

You can listen to Mac Cana discussing Och Ochón here in a recent interview with Regina Brady and Eilish Kelly for The Hearts N Heads podcast.

Performance in Irish. Translated into English & Cantonese. Cantonese Translation completed during Mac Cana’s participation in the Tong Lau Residency Programme in Hong Kong, October 2019. Translation (English-Irish): Frances Morgan Eimear Kennedy Ruairí Ó Bléine Dónall Mac Giolla Chóill Frances Quinn