We Invented Halloween is the title of a series of films recorded over the years on Halloween night in the Michel Fortune’s family home.
The ancient Irish traditional of Hallowe’en, which was subsequently brought to the US and Canada by Irish emigrants, has been practiced in this part of Wexford for centuries. Disguise and role play are two of the main underlying themes in this ancient practice, where it is believed the living dressed up as the dead in a bit to fool the evils spirts that roamed the earth during this liminal time of year.
For decades a central activity of the Hallowe’en night involved the Michael’s mother dressing up in an improvised manner with anything that will disguise her identity, and calling to his granny’s house, which is next door. Visiting the family home in 2005, Michael observed the tradtion was still continuing, so he decided to record this practice and as a result has created a wonderfully honest and contemporary take on this ancient practice.
This short compilation features snippets from each Halloween year and calling to his grandmother who has since passed away. In the complete series awe observe his mother getting dressed, with the aid of his sisters, who dress and undress her with layers of coats, socks, tights and plastic masks. The work, which involves long, hand-held takes, follows her along the road and into his grandmothers house. In the recordings, his grandmother ignores the camera and welcomes his mother. Each of the films finishes when his mother leaves the house, delighted that she has fooled his granny once again. By revisiting this annual practice the viewer is offered an insight into the immediate environment of family life, human relationships and a contemporary/ancient ritual.
Admission : Free