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Tour The Candahar

Event documentation inside The Candahar (Regina), 2016
Courtesy of the MacKenzie Art Gallery

Credit: Courtesy of the MacKenzie Art Gallery

Credit: Courtesy of the MacKenzie Art Gallery

The Candahar is a creative amalgam of at least three Belfast pubs, only one of which (at the time of writing) still exists.

The pub is probably the archetypal pseudo-public space in Belfast. What else is there to do? Where else is there to go?

The Candahar operates in a certain kind of cinematic sense, by being specifically unlike the world upon which it has so clearly and carefully been based.

The Candahar (Regina), 2016
Courtesy of the MacKenzie Art Gallery
Photo: Don Hall

Installation detail, The Candahar (Regina), 2016
Courtesy of the MacKenzie Art Gallery
Photo: Don Hall

The Candahar (Regina), 2016
Courtesy of the MacKenzie Art Gallery
Photo: Don Hall

The Candahar (Regina), 2016
Courtesy of the MacKenzie Art Gallery
Photo: Don Hall

The Candahar (Regina), 2016
Courtesy of the MacKenzie Art Gallery
Photo: Don Hall

Installation detail, The Candahar (Regina), 2016
Courtesy of the MacKenzie Art Gallery
Photo: Don Hall

Installation detail, The Candahar (Regina), 2016
Courtesy of the MacKenzie Art Gallery
Photo: Don Hall

The Candahar (Regina), 2016
Courtesy of the MacKenzie Art Gallery
Photo: Don Hall

Installation detail, The Candahar (Regina), 2016
Courtesy of the MacKenzie Art Gallery
Photo: Don Hall

Installation detail, The Candahar (Regina), 2016
Courtesy of the MacKenzie Art Gallery
Photo: Don Hall

Installation detail, The Candahar (Regina), 2016
Courtesy of the MacKenzie Art Gallery
Photo: Don Hall

The Candahar (Regina), 2016
Courtesy of the MacKenzie Art Gallery
Photo: Don Hall

The Candahar (Regina), 2016
Courtesy of the MacKenzie Art Gallery
Photo: Don Hall

The Candahar (Regina), 2016
Courtesy of the MacKenzie Art Gallery
Photo: Don Hall

Chris and Conor Roddy at The Candahar (Regina), 2016
Courtesy of the MacKenzie Art Gallery
Photo: Don Hall

Event documentation inside The Candahar (Regina), 2016
Courtesy of the MacKenzie Art Gallery
Photo: Don Hall

Event documentation inside The Candahar (Regina), 2016
Courtesy of the MacKenzie Art Gallery
Photo: Don Hall

The Candahar (Regina), 2016
Courtesy of the MacKenzie Art Gallery
Photo: Don Hall

I want to insist, at the risk of trying the reader’s patience, on certain difficulties and instabilities that operate within The Candahar at a conceptual level. If it was simply about having a beer, we could all just go to the pub.

…the same place years later, is the site of a feeling that they spend many hours trying to recover.

Interior detail, The Candahar (Winnipeg), 2007
Photo: William Eakin

Chris and Conor Roddy at The Candahar (Montreal), 2007
Photo: Guy L’Heureux

Interior view, The Candahar (Vancouver) , 2010
Photo: Theo Sims

I used to think that I could not leave Belfast. Many people told me I’d stayed too long, that the place was too small, too backward, too out of the way, that I should be somewhere else, but I disagreed because my whole life was so heavily invested in the place.

On the 9th of February 1996, the day the Provisional IRA ended a 17-month ceasefire by bombing the Canary Wharf office complex in London, I sat with Theo Sims in a basement pub next door to the Crown, watching news footage of the bomb on TV while wondering whether to order another drink.