Under Cover of Night

As part of Belltable Late Night, Ormston House presents Under Cover of Night, a late-night screening programme of artists’ film. The event features a double-bill: Becoming Plant by British-Kenyan artist Grace Ndiritu and Expulsion by Irish artist Caoimhín Gaffney. The screening is Friday, 15 March from 9pm–12am. Tickets are €10 and can be purchased on the Belltable website here.

‘Under cover of night’ is an idiom used when describing activities carried out during night time hours, in darkness, avoiding detection from authority. The clandestine and revolutionary connotations of this idiom frame this programme. With distinct focuses and subject matters, the films find commonality in their radical propositions for alternative forms of living and being.

Becoming Plant (2022) follows six dancers who participate in a therapeutic group experiment with psychedelics, while temporarily ‘living’ together on the demilitarised industrial site. While they are subjected to the plant’s consciousness and to each other’s presence, they perform a choreography, aligning their naked bodies with each other and with the architectural ruins. The film serves as a catalyst to discuss wider social and relational issues such as science, spirituality, psychiatry, healing, healthcare, and the problems of collective depression and trauma resulting from living in the age of Late Capitalism.

Expulsion (2021) follows a fictional utopian Queer State as it devolves from a promised oppositional force into a dystopian bureaucracy. Interspersed throughout is archival footage of queer activist Joan Jett Blakk, the drag persona of Terence Smith, who ran for President of the USA in 1992. Expulsion navigates through queer history, from the witchcraft trials and the inquisition, to current debates around the co-opting of queerness by capitalism. The optimism and determination seen in the footage of Joan Jett Blakk’s speeches is countered by the fictional queer state depicted by Gaffney, which descends into totalitarianism.

A brief introduction precedes each film, and there will be a DJ in the foyer playing music before, between, and after the films.


Under Cover of Night: 15 March 2024, 9pm–12am. Tickets are €10 and can be found here.
Image detail: Still from Becoming Plant, 2022, courtesy of LUX Distribution.
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