Mermaid 21st Birthday

Surrender Your Horns & Slipped, Fell and Smacked My Face Off The Dance Floor with Q&A

Surrender Your Horns

After snorting a line of powdered horn, a lonely Irishman undergoes a Kafkaesque metamorphosis that turns him into a rhino-head man. Embodying both hunter and hunted, he guides us into an eclectic series of real and fantasy worlds, from the medieval hunt of the unicorn to the recent death of the world’s last male northern white rhino. Documentary scenes in Kenya, Vietnam, and across Europe merge with the Theatre of the Absurd-style stage performances of unicorn nightclubbers, horn smugglers, and reproductive biologists to explore the fragile entanglement of all species versus the enduring power of the human imagination. As rhinos surrender their horns to live, and others die for them, we uncover how this creature is being hunted both in life and in death. The theatre elements of this production were filmed at the Mermaid theatre and supported by the Arts Council of Ireland.

A Q&A with Bryony hosted by Mo O'Connell follows the screening.

Bryony Dunne is an Irish visual artist and filmmaker who operates at the intersection of documentary film, sculpture, photography, and the natural world. Building interconnected narratives that often incorporate fact-based fictions and speculative futures, her research-driven projects explore the power dynamics between humanity and nature as well as fantasies of human control.

Her work has been exhibited at the Mosaic Rooms (London), Gypsum and Townhouse galleries (Cairo), the Irish Film Institute (Dublin), and DEPO (Istanbul), among other venues. She has participated in a number of international film and video festivals, including the Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival (Greece), Cork International Film Festival (Ireland), and Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin.She was a resident at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht during the 2021–2022 cycle. Her first feature film, Surrender Your Horns (2022) premiered at the Galway Film Fleadh and will be presented at EVA International, Irelands Biennial in August.

Mo O'Connell is an award-winning actor, writer, filmmaker, director & producer. She is the founder & head of 3 Hot Whiskeys Productions and uns the Dublin International Comedy Film Festival.

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Slipped, Fell And Smacked My Face Off The Dance Floor (The Film) by Lisa Freeman

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Slipped, Fell And Smacked My Face Off The Dance Floor (The Film) by Lisa Freeman features actors, a saxophone player and a significant location: the once-busy sea bathing pool at Naylor’s Cove, Bray. This project stems from Freeman’s research into sites of failed and poorly designed civic architecture, and how these sites can impact our health, identity and leisure pursuits.

Excerpt from ‘Time Slips and Falls’ writer Rachel Donnelly’s response to the work:

Are they trying to excavate the ruins of the baths? To reach pre-internet time, when our primary civic spaces were physical (whether flesh, paper or radio-wave based) and democratic, rather than digital and commodified by Meta and Twitter? The concrete fragments sit heavy on the beach, guarding their past. The waves break continuously. Two of the performers are sitting back to back on the wall again, heads resting on each other’s shoulders. We’re on a loop, we’re on a loop. It’s exactly two metres by two metres and we lie on it sometimes to feel…

Slipped, Fell And Smacked My Face Off The Dance Floor (The Film)


Written and directed by Lisa Freeman Video by Collective Film Director of Photography Kenneth Adams Sound Jack O’Donoghue Editor Georgia Kelly Performers Biaina Ryan, Niamh McPhillips, Tadhg O’Rourke Saxophone player Andrea Jones Publication Design Or Studio Photography Louis Haugh Curator Anne Mullee

Special thanks to Dennis McNulty, Anne Mullee, Astrid Newman, Dan Reidy

Additional thanks to aemi (Alice Butler, Daniel Fitzpatrick & Emer Lynch), Bray Town Council, Emma Conway, Lauren Conway, Padraig Cunningham, Rachel Donnelly, Lana May Fleming, Collective Films, Louis Haugh, Julie Kelleher, Gerlanda Maniglia, Vera Ryklova, Jenny Sherwin, Or Studio, Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, Claire Walsh, Wicklow Library Local Studies Department

Slipped, Fell and Smacked My Face Off The Dance Floor live performances took place at Naylor's Cove, Bray, presented by Mermaid Arts Centre, on 10th, 11th, 17th, 18th June 2022.

Duration: 21 mins and 12 seconds

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