My Dublin 1963 // My Dubliners 2020
Photographs & Commentary
By: Alen MacWeeney
Publication Date: 9 December 2021
My Dublin 1963 // My Dubliners 2020 by Alen MacWeeney
These 89 black & white photographs taken by Alen MacWeeney in Dublin in 1963/5 are spontaneous images of Dublin and Dubliners in all areas of the city, a street odyssey reflecting a cross section of the people, their habits and behaviour, ten years before Ireland joined the European Union and the wider world.
The text on facing pages consists in social commentary gleaned from a posting by Pesya Altman, co-author, artist and partner of MacWeeney, of each of the book’s photographs on Dublin social media platform Down Memory Lane, eliciting a flood of 70,000 responses during 2020. The idea for the book was born.
These photographs of Dublin and Dubliners in 1963 have pertinent social and historical value as attested by their placement in numerous US Universities and museums. The text offers a novel way of understanding and appreciating a full gamut of Dublin personalities through their reactions to the posting of these photographs during the current pandemic. The responses ranged from wonder and incredulity to heated derision, offset by the hilarity that characterize Dubliners. The richness of the comments will be of interest to any Irish person curious to glimpse Dublin life in the ’60s and to gauge the reactions of Dubliners today. They are entrancing, comical, absurd and poignant, adding a unique dimension to Irish social history.
MacWeeney’s work partakes of the tradition of reportage by Walker Evans, Cartier Bresson and Robert Frank. In the early sixties he assisted the legendary photogapher Richard Avedon in Paris and New York.
‘The richness of the comments will be of interest to any Irish person curious to glimpse Dublin life in the ’60s and gauge Dubliners’ reactions today. They are fascinating, comical, absurd and poignant, adding a unique dimension to Irish social history.’ – Dublin Live
‘My Dublin 1963/My Dubliners 2020 by Alen MacWeeney(Lilliput) is a charming idea, bringing together past and present, the visual image and the written word. From 1963 to 1965, MacWeeney took 89 striking black and white photographs of Dubliners, capturing the capital in all its diversity. Last year, his partner Pesya Altman sparked off a social media phenomenon in which people commented on the photos, giving a very modern perspective on what feels like ancient history.’ – The Independent
‘You really want to buy the book. No self respecting Dubliner should be without it.’ – Gemma Tipton, The Irish Times
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alen MacWeeney’s photographs have appeared internationally in magazines and books: among them, The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Esquire, G.Q., Life, The World of Interiors, American Photographer, and Aperture, and others. His books: Irish Walls; & Ireland; Stone Walls and Fabled Landscapes; Bloomsbury Reflections; Charleston: A Bloomsbury House and Garden; The Home of the Surrealists; Spaces for Silence; Irish Travellers, Tinkers No More; Once Upon a Time in Tallaght; and, most recently, Under the Influence (2012).
MacWeeney’s photographs are in the permanent collections the MoMA, New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, among others.
He has had solo shows in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Paris, Stockholm and Dublin. His work is held in many private collections. His archive now resides in Cork University. His film Traveller, based on his early photographs of the Irish Travellers, was broadcast on RTÉ and BBC 4, and included in Itinérances, 28th Festival Cinéma d’Alès.
He lives in New York City and Sag Harbor, with yearly travels to Ireland.
|240 × 300 mm
9 December 2021
Fabric Hardback with photographs, 208pp