Step behind the curtain and into the restless, illusory world of Claire-Louise Bennett’s Nightflowers, an immersive new installation at MoLI created by the internationally acclaimed author of Pond and Checkout 19. Part noir-tinged memory palace, part luscious fever dream, Bennett’s text is performed movingly and intimately by the writer herself. Take a seat in this darkened, amniotic space, and let the words flow around you.
Journeying deep into a haunted interior, Bennett’s Nightflowers is buzzing with vivid, unforgettable images, colours and aromas: baroque tableaus of oranges rotting in the street or candlelit tables filled with resplendent dishes, as well as more mundane flashes of daily life: an irritatingly flimsy shower screen, or cardboard boxes overflowing with unwanted travel brochures.
Bennett’s new commission is especially poignant against a backdrop of the precarious and traumatic reality of housing in contemporary Ireland: the protagonist obsesses on having and not having a home, while gently mocking the conventions of domestic space, and how our lives and interactions are shaped by the four walls around us. Barely containing a lingering promise of violence and destruction, the nocturnal haze of Nightflowers sparkles with Bennett’s arrow-sharp prose.