Aon, Dó

'Aon, Dó' is a performance to camera chosen to be part of the opening exhibition Vanishing, from This gallery. Link to gallery online exhibition:

Description of the work

Rachel Macmanus uses repetition and physicality in her performance actions as a way to consider the actions we make every day but don’t think about. Here, in a performance-to-camera, she repeatedly recites a children’s rhyme, ‘Aon, dó’, in the Irish language. ‘Aon, dó’ is an Irish language rhyme taught to young Irish children, to help them learn to count and rhyme using the Irish language, which Irish children are predominantly not fluent in.

The rhyme is the Irish translated version of ‘One, two, buckle my shoe’. In the performance the artist allows the menace and tension within the rhyme to rise to the surface. The artist repeats the words over and over, but no audio can be heard, perhaps allowing different questions to be asked.

A haon, a dó, muc is bó,

A trí, a ceathair, bróga leathair,

A cúig, a sé, cupán tae,

A seacht, a hocht, seanbhean bhocht,

A naoi, a deich, císte te.

No sound can be heard as sound is a layer not required. The emotions have no sound and then they vanish. It could be compared to witnessing someone shouting angrily through a wound-up window of a car. The vehemence is visible but it’s neutered. It’s a short burst of vitriol, of unfettered emotion, making its presence felt through the silent utterances.