Digging Up the Past on the City Streets

Article excerpt

TONIGHT sees the opening of a week of investigation into one of the most historic streets in Belfast. Street Archaeology will explore the length of Donegall Street, former home of the News Letter. It's a multi-media art event, which opens at 6pm this evening. And there's a guided tour tomorrow at 1pm by Daniel Jewesbury, starting at PS2 gallery,18 Donegall Street.

Peter Mutschler of the PS2 says it may hold a surprise or two for passers- by.

"It's art in the public. Will people be shocked, they might be! We have seven international artists and 30 businesses who have agreed that they will host some art.

"TVs and DVDS will be put into shop-fronts, into the Church of Ireland office, into the five hairdressers along Donegall Street. Normally, archaeology has something to do with digging, bits of pottery, old walls and bones. But what if one doesn't use a spade but a video camera, a tape recorder or writing as tools to discover the place?

"Art is usually shown in the clean white spaces of museums or galleries, where everyone whispers. But what if you encounter contemporary multi- media art in a hairdresser's window, or in the surroundings of a flower shop? Will they then become a museum?"

Locations for the event are more than 30 shops, businesses and institutions along Donegall Street. …