Irish Film Institute
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aemi & IFI Documentary Festival Present: Making Dust

1 October 2023 / 15:30 / Irish Film Institute

Presented by AEMI and IFI, Making Dust by Fiona Hallinan celebrates its world premiere as part of the IFI Documentary Festival 2023.

Film Info:
Churches for our Children, Radharc Films, Ireland, 1974, 26 minutes
Making Dust, Fiona Hallinan, Ireland, 2023, 45 minutes
Running time: 71 minutes

Making Dust is a powerful portrait of the demolition in 2021 of the Church of the Annunciation in Finglas, once the second-largest Catholic Church in Ireland. Understanding this moment as a rupture, the film is structured around a fascinating and deeply insightful essay by architectural historian Ellen Rowley which considers some of the ways in which the building has both influenced and been influenced by the community it was built to serve. Featuring oral interviews recorded at the site and in a nearby hairdressers, the film reflects on the life cycles of buildings and materials to offer a profound reckoning with an epoch of Irish history that is only now just beginning to come into focus.

Making Dust will be preceded by a screening of Radharc’s Churches for our Children (1974).

The programme will be followed by a discussion with artist filmmaker Fiona Hallinan and architectural historian Ellen Rowley.

Biography, Fiona Hallinan
Fiona Hallinan is an artist, researcher, filmmaker and, alongside curator Kate Strain, co-founder of the Department of Ultimology, based between Brussels, Belgium and Cork, Ireland. Her doctoral research at LUCA School of Arts, KU Leuven explores the coming-into-being of Ultimology, the study of that which is dead or dying (death here encompassing both the end of life and the passing into irrelevance, redundancy or extinction of material and immaterial entities), as a tool for transformative discourse.

Based in a practice of oral interview, this project involves instigating gatherings around ‘ruptures’ as case studies; the closure of a canteen, the demolition of a church, the extinction of a plant. This research is informed by gathering knowledge related to rituals of mourning, supported by the monthly reading group On Death.

Supported by the Irish Arts Council Project Award and working alongside architectural historian Ellen Rowley, her film Making Dust takes one of these case studies, the demolition of Ireland’s second largest Catholic Church, the Church of the Annunciation in Finglas West, as its subject.

Making Dust was supported by aemi through its artist support programme and Rough Cut Series.



This is a still from the film 'Making Dust' by Irish artist Fiona Hallinan. The image features a demolished Catholic church called ‘Church of the Annunciation’ in Finglas, Dublin. The remains of the church are supported by a metal frame and fragments of grey brick wall. The stained glass windows, divided by metal studs, are brightly coloured and composed of small abstract panels in shades of blue, pink, yellow, green, red, and brown. The sky behind the church is dark pink, and sunlight reflects onto the stained glass windows. On the right side of the image, a section of a large tree is visible.

Research image for Fiona Hallinan's Making Dust. Photography by Faolán Carey.