There are lots of great things going on at Worldcon in Dublin and there’s
‘Francis Bacon’s Alien’
H. R. Giger, designer of the alien in Ridley Scott’s 1979 film, has said in various places that he was inspired by a painting: ‘Bacon did a crucifixion in 1945, and there is a kind of beast in it that has a head that is only a mouth.’ The three-canvas painting is Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion, which probably dates from 1944 but was worked on for a number of years and depicts three grotesque figures on a luminous orange background. Normally the three figures would include St John, the Virgin Mary, and Mary Magdalene, but elsewhere the Irish-born Protestant Bacon identified them with the Eumenides or Furies, female figures of vengeance. The canvasses have caused debate among Bacon scholars, because they do not include the cross and therefore the potential for salvation. Does the painting represent despair and horror, or salvation through suffering? By looking at this painting and other crucifixions by Bacon, in relation to Alien, I raise the possibility of a backwards infection of reading Bacon’s work as science fiction, through his ongoing engagement with the grotesque, his ‘invisible rooms’ frames within his canvasses, and his use of surreal juxtapositions.
part of: Different visions of Ireland18 Aug 2019, Sunday 11:30 – 12:20, Odeon 6 (Academic) (Point Square Dublin)
1. Dr Andrew M. Butler – ‘“We are meat, we are potential carcasses”: Francis Bacon’s Alien’
2. Dr Richard Howard – ‘Comfort Plus Excitement: Bob Shaw and David Hardy’
3. Val Nolan – ‘Narration and Recurrence in Neil Jordan’s Shade’
Unknown and/or forgotten artists
17 Aug 2019, Saturday 13:30 – 14:20, Odeon 2 (Point Square Dublin)
Some artists enjoy commercial success, while many others stay in the shadows. Why does this happen? Panellists discuss artists who have been forgotten or haven’t received the attention they deserve.
Phil Foglio (Studio Foglio, LLC), Pat Robinson , Sue Mason, Dr Andrew M Butler (Canterbury Christ Church University) (M)
Get us out of the Twilight Zone: the work of Jordan Peele
18 Aug 2019, Sunday 13:30 – 14:20, Stratocaster BC (Point Square Dublin)
With two extraordinary films and a reimagined Twilight Zone under his belt, Jordan Peele has made a huge impact as a weird/horror visionary over the last few years. This panel will discuss Peele’s work: what it says, how it works, and why it matters.
Catriona Ward, Dr Andrew M Butler (Canterbury Christ Church University) , Chris M. Barkley (M), Dr Wanda Kurtçu (California State University, Hayward).