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They say all good things in life come to an end. Today we announced that Kodak will retire KODACHROME Film, concluding its 74-year run.

It was a difficult decision, given its rich history. At the end of the day, photographers have told us and showed us they’ve moved on to newer other Kodak films and/or digital. KODACHROME Film currently represents a fraction of one percent of our film sales. We at Kodak want to celebrate with you the rich history of this storied film. Feel free to share with us your fondest memories of Kodachrome.

from the comments:

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Intriguing object found in the plant room of the university.
(Appropriated for household decoration).


After a good three weeks, the rainbow finally submitted to the heavy rain and winds of this uniquely cruel Irish ‘summer’ and fallen. The fall has also broken it.
I had thought to gather the team again (or another team) to carry out repairs – I welcomed the idea of the structure as something vulnerable that was in need of attention and care. However in the end I decided not to pursue this: aside from safety concerns, I was won over by a plea for ‘non revival and non permanence’. So the rainbow will most likely by rescued and removed… perhaps with something left in its place as a very, very modest monument.


From Shiny Shiny TV:

Remember a couple months back when we told you the fluffy melt in your mouth chocolate was back on the market? It was reintroduced after numerous campaigns on social networking sites started clamouring for the chocolate. Well a couple months later and Wispa has proved so popular that they are bringing it back FULL TIME (or till sales slump).

Yes, from the 6th October you can now stuff your face with as much Wispa as you like, for the price of 45p. I’m not sure if it will remain as popular as it was when there was a limited supply, as when the novelty has gone, will the true fans remain?

Official Wispa site (image)

The Express

Brand Republic



The ‘Bring Back Cavan Cola’ campaign has almost 1,800 members and we’ve heard from the BBC, Metro Dublin, Irish News, 2FM with Rick O’Shea, Newstalk, UTV 105, Northern Sound, Cavan Post & Cavan Echo !!

Cavan has been robbed of its identity, its lifeblood and we want it back ! Imagine Kerry with no butter ??!!

Cavan Cola is a forgotten symbol of what Cavan stood for – Cavan Cola defines refreshment, coolness & vintage Cavan culture of old. It has been sorely missed !! No more Cavan children should have to grow up not being able to drink ‘Cavan Cola’ from the brown bottle with a bag of Tayto !!

Cavan Cola was born in 1984 & was so popular there that it went national in the early 1990s, becoming something of a nationwide phenomenon. In 1995, Cavan Mineral Water was taken over and some fool started phasing out Cavan Cola. By 2001, Cavan Cola had disappeared.

Bebo page

Facebook group

official website




There was an excellent article in the Sunday Tribune (business section) last weekend, written by Maxim Kelly, that drew attention to the recent trend of using nostalgia for advertising purposes.


There are other examples too, loads of them, some of which I’ve written about here


  1. The new TV ad for Sprite is a pastiche of Shaft, with Sprite bottles substituted for guns.
  2. The new McDonald’s TV ads cut to a flashback of ‘the eighties’ (I’ve so far seen two versions; one is of an aerobics class, bizarrely referencing fitness)
  3. Henri Hippo has been relaunched as the icon of Ulster Bank, albeit with a more digitised style of animation than before. I recently saw copy on a Henri billboard that read ‘Remember when happiness was staying up to watch Dallas?’


So there a few notable things here.


Mc Donalds and Sprite are both global corporations, and the signifiers they light on are similarly ‘global’ (ie referring to hegemonic American popular culture). Visually, these two ads also share a very distinct gritty, ‘analogue’ quality when they’re visually quoting The Past.


Henri Hippo is a much more localised phenomenon, with a much smaller audience, and the focus on Dallas as a childhood experience narrows the demographic further – to people around my age (twenties to early thirties) who lived in Ireland at the time. It’s an unusual experience to feel so targeted by advertising, and if nothing else it really makes me interrogate my memory and experience of this time. Do I really remember it like that? Is the story I have belonging to my childhood, or someone else’s?


Ulster Bank has today brought back the iconic 1980s children’s character Henri Hippo who introduced the idea of saving to a generation of Irish children nearly 30 years ago… At the re-launch of Henri Hippo, Richard Donnan, Managing Director of Ulster Bank Retail Markets said: “Henri Hippo will be fondly remembered by a generation of Irish adults who were introduced to the concept and habit of saving through a great sense of fun. Many of them will now have their own children to whom they will want to pass on a habit that will have served them well down through the years. We want to help parents encourage and motivate their children to save.”

From here


There is something larger here about nostalgia marketing and the time cycles that seem to be involved. I don’t know how ‘new’ the use of nostalgia is in marketing, but it seems to be running on a 20 – 30 year cycle at the moment.


In 1998, Nicolas Bourriaud actually wrote about this in relation to contemporary art, pointing out how art in the 80s drew from the ‘visual effectiveness’ of 60s Pop, and art in the nineties seemed to ‘identify’ with trends from the 70s, including a sense of crisis, saying

Fashion can thus create aesthetic microclimates which affect the way we read recent history.


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Artist duo  McDermott and McGough currently have a retrospective exhibition on view at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (another one for the collaborative artist couples list).

From the press release: 

An Experience of Amusing Chemistry: Photographs 1990 – 1890 comprises some 120 works created using a wide range of historic photographic techniques, including the use of palladium, gum, salt and cyanotype prints. David McDermott and Peter McGough met when they were both part of the famous East Village New York art scene of the 1980s, and have since become renowned for their seamless fusion of art and life.

In a revolt against the confines of chronological time, they have built their practice through appropriating imagery and objects from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They have also assiduously reconstructed their lives as Victorian gentlemen – complete with knee britches, top hats and tail coats – immersing themselves in the environment and era in which they feel most at home, and, incidentally, dating their works accordingly.

My instinctual response to this work was unfairly and unjustifiably dismissive. I don’t think it’s the act of performative nostalgia, of literally attempting to live in the past, that spurred this displeasure. I actually think it’s the specific era that the artists chose: Victorianism is so passé. Different ‘pasts’ (that is, historical eras) go in and out of fashion like anything else. I wonder if it is simply their choice of the Victorian era that caused my nose to curl up?

The press release also claims that ‘they also subvert the obvious by incorporating homoerotic and art historical references, allowing the subject to expand outside of its time-capsule-like boundaries and to exist in relation to current cultural and artistic ideals’.

Image above: Bubble of Soap Formed at the Extremity of a Strand of Straw, 1884, 1990, palladium print. Image held here

I recently came across this comment on the jezebel blog: 

The hottest porn I’ve seen recently, by the way, was on some site where they had a video of the day and it was from the 70s. Two girls, one guy, real tits, unwaxed bush, shaggy-haired guy with chest hair … it was hot. People looking normal having sex

Nostalgia for ‘authentic’ porn. Where will it end?

[and that’s right, I didn’t feel it necessary to add a visual to this post].


Seán Lynch: Joseph Beuys’ Irish Energies (reconstruction) 2007; peat briquettes, butter; original made in 1974

A number of discussions with fellow artists recently have involved the idea of re-enactment, and why so many artists seem to be so drawn to it as a strategy at present. In Ireland this might include artists like Jesse Jones and the 12 Angry Films project, or Seán Lynch, whose work frequently revists anecdotal, unreliable or surprising histories, or Brendan Earley’s revistations of Modernism. My own interest in re-enactment tends to veer towards the kitsch and an interest in unearthing political threads embedded in such popular cultural productions – this is explored particularly with a body of work being made with Gareth Kennedy. Sources for retelling and re-enactment here have included a Dallas TV script (1987), the film King Kong (1977), and an advertising jingle for Gulf Oil, based in Bantry Bay (1968).

This trend has also being reflected inwards within the art world itself, particularly within performance art, for example Marina Abramovic’s Seven Easy Pieces (2005), which involved the re-enactment of key performance works by other artists. (See Caitlin Jones’ post on the topic at Rhizome here). She suggests that the impulse to re-enact is either an homage or a repetition, but there are perhaps other impulses at work too.

It seems to me that the impulse to re-enact is caught up with a sense of nostalgia, maybe a ‘revolutionary nostalgia’ like that suggested by Walter Benjamin. It seems clear that the artist re-enactment is related though distinct from the Hollywood remake, which is a different impulse altogether. Where Hollywood seeks to remake stories already told, artists seek to re-enact stories that went unrealised. Svetlana Boym points out that the twentieth century began with utopia and ended with nostalgia – they are twin impulses, caught up with a sense of optimism and potential failure.

November 2020