Dublin, 1976 and U2’s history
In 1976, four young Dubliners struggling with early adolescent inconveniences decided, out of the blue, to become a rock band answering an ad attached to the dashboard of their school, the Mount Temple Comprehensive School.
Their first songs testify the anger and sorrow at the loss of what is most important: feelings, innocence and safety.
The friendship, respect and love, the search for spirituality and peace are the solutions identified and proposed right away in their rock music and are destined to become the solid values to which their music and choices are inspired.
In defense of these principles, U2 have taken a clear position of condemnation against some of the most important political issues first in their Country (the violent attacks of the IRA) and then in defense of civil rights.
They have been adhered and collaborated to different humanitarian projects (Live Aid, Artists United Against Apartheid, Hope Conspiracy, etc), supported organizations (Amnesty International, Greenpeace, Justice for the Forgotten) and materialized activism through the establishment of organizations like ONE and RED, in an attempt to catalyze the attention of political and philanthropic institutions and to raise public awareness through music.
Research, innovation and versatility have been the theme to their entire artistic production, while respecting the origins and tradition, with a constant attention to the spiritual dimension.
Dublin, 2016: the project ’40 years with U2′
The choice to return to Dublin 40 years after the foundation of U2 band was born from the desire to continue to find the reflection of their origins and their history in order to witness the actuality of their message, bringing their iconographic contemporary songs.
In the last four decades, Dublin has alternated periods of rapid economic growth and urban expansion, with moments of stand still and crisis. The economic boom and the social changes that followed have inevitably created a city far from the early stereotypes of the rock band’s career, but certainly equally inspiring for contact points described in their lyrics.
The project 40 years with U2 collects 40 pictures inspired by specific fragments of U2’s songs and snapped in Dublin in 2016, the year of the 40th anniversary of their formation which is celebrated on September 25, 2016.
The pictures are published by following the progressive numeration and creating a storytelling accompanied by a brief description which wishes to provide some element of curiosity or be useful for further investigation to those who have only recently discovered U2.
The shots were built starting from the verses of some of U2’s, with the desire to describe the places of the celebration of their history, if still present, offering suggestions when the evolutionary history of the city has inevitably overshadowed their tracks. In some cases, the lyrics of their songs have been used to latch on to this reality of Dublin, constantly evolving and looking to the future, and to propose new way to modern interpretation of the same U2 theme.
Each image in the storytelling is linked to a photograph of the history of U2 presented in a gallery entitled Memories because of geographical context and/or contents.
The category B-Sides includes those photographs inspired by the lyrics of the songs of U2, but built with a different approach than the ones used for the storytelling 40 years with U2. The B-Sides of our work are shots which were less thought about and more instinctive, combined with texts of songs that were not necessarily B-Sides and are more directly linked to the imaginary of the U2 world. They are musical images wishing to pursue research on the subject U2 in photography.
The project would like to thank the U2 band for their music which accounted a constant source of stimulation for continuous improvement for four generations of fans and that continues to bring messages of hope for a more peaceful future.
- The ghosts of love by Andrea Morandi