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When considering the Kilmainham Gaol, the author states that"As the dereliction of the site which I visited in 1991 could be authentically traced back to the historical meaning of the site’s oppressiveness, the pre-restored dirtiness was somehow an exemplification of the cruel conduct of the British army in the pre-Republican period."¹ Richardson further explores this through the following quotation:


In 1991 the site needed no embellishment, nor further complexity. As a gaol it was also a monument, but soon in transition to a fully fledged museum. The ownership of the transition might fall to those who might wish to convey the terrible unknowable, or to those who would fashion an informative display, a knowable. Either way, a determined attempt would have to be made to retain the site's solemn character, supplanting the material decay with a space of contemplation. I had hoped they could leave it all as is, monumentalising a gaol meant the imagination could run riot. Items would need not appear as categories, visitors could visit without distraction and cells speak for themselves.²


The author expressed discontentment with the alterations and "enhancements" that the directors of the site had made to the Gaol, and that through these, and that an authentic study of the site would be difficult with these factors.³

1. Craig Richardson, “Dirty Museum,” Journal of Visual Art Practice 16, no. 2: 132, DOI:10.1080/14702029.2016.1183409.
2. Richardson, “Dirty Museum,” 136.
3. Ibid, 137.

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Richardson, Craig1. "Dirty Museum." Journal Of Visual Art Practice 16, no. 2 (June 2017): 131-138. Art & Architecture Source, EBSCOhost (accessed July 20, 2017).

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Craig Richardson
Dirty Museum
Journal of Visual Art Practice
Volume 16 Issue 2, 2017
Pages 131-138
Date accessed: July 20, 2017