Beyond Survival &
Beyond Survival Expert

docu-film & billboard

Beyond Survival Expert (2022)
Billboard [420 x 220 cm]
Photographer Niamh Barry
Assistant photographer Aoife McGrath
Post-production Kalun Leung
Image courtesy of the artist

Beyond Survival (2022)
Docu-Film [41' 43'']
Film and post-production by Léann Herlihy
Beyond Survival is an indigestible mash-up of mainstream survival television, fucking-frenzy naturist collectives and anti-sodomy laws legislated under the title ‘Crimes Against Nature’. Tempered by the exaggerated nature of survivalist figures and their excessive performances of non-essential survival, the protagonist of this docu-film transforms into numerous characters, ranging from a cameo as a cis-heterosexual survivalist to a stern warning from a queer environmental activist. Adopting the cinematic stylization of survival documentaries, Beyond Survival uses numerous cameras to emphasise feigned solitude and satirically leans into confessional soliloquies employed by handheld cameras.

By situating itself in a natural landscape, Beyond Survival emphasises how an alternative vision of natural phenomena can de-centre the rigid social order and thus, provide us with new ways of living beyond immediate survival.

Departing from archaic survivalist endeavours that promise not improvement but rather endless struggle, the figure of the Beyond Survival Expert was erected as a large-scale billboard in Dublin City. With a sustained presence, this became an active point of public dialogue which paved pathways for thriving rather than just surviving.

Beyond Survival and Beyond Survival Expert are part of Herlihy’s larger transdisciplinary project the middle of nowhere (2022) at Project Arts Centre, Dublin.

the middle of nowhere was commissioned by Project Arts Centre and kindly supported by the Arts Council of Ireland’s Visual Arts Bursary and Carlow Arts Festival’s Wedge Fund.

Beyond Survival and Beyond Survival Expert were acquired by the Irish Arts Council and added to their Collection in 2022.