INSIDE OF U2’s HEADS

The Dadaists coined the term “photomontage” around 1918 in Berlin. It’s an art-form arriving from collaging photographs with mixed media that found a home in the powerful propaganda of the Soviets. Nowadays, the process is more commonly known as digital manipulation or “photoshopping”.

For the AMP Visual-designed U2.IE Tour book, we imagined scenes from the band’s memories of growing up in Dublin to create a series of photomontages. Selecting locations in Dublin that held a connection with the band, we overlaid these scenes onto recent photographs of the U2 band members.

Adam – Dublin’s port authority cranes at the Alexandra Basin on the north side of the river Liffey. Much of U2’s early photography was taken not far from this industrial area. The ‘Point Depot’ is just up the river, where the band recorded parts of the Rattle and Hum album, and where they played during the Lovetown tour in December 1989 and the Innocence + Experience tour in November 2015.

Edge – a view of the gasometer on Sir John Roberson’s Quay beside Dublin’s river Liffey. The structure, erected in 1934, held 3 million cubic feet of gas for Dublin’s residents. It was dismantled in 1994. The gasometer wasn’t far from Barrow street where The Factory rehearsal space was located and where the band recorded much of the album Zooropa in 1993.

Bono – a montage of the Ballymum Tower blocks. Bono could see these seven towers from where he lived growing up on Cedarwood Road. They were part of Dublin’s northside landscape from the mid-1960s before the demolition of the last tower in 2015. They were named after the seven leaders of 1916 rising and were built to mainly accommodate former residents of Dublin’s north urban slums. The area suffered much social deprivation and problems with drug abuse and rampant crime a feature and the towers are one of the subjects of the U2 song Running To Stand Still from The Joshua Tree album in 1986.

Larry – O’Connell street showing its statue of ‘big’ Jim Larkin by Irish sculptor Oisin Kelly in 1977. Larkin was a social activist, an Irish trade union leader and founder of the Irish Labour Party. He played a significant role in the 1913 ‘Dublin Lockout’ industrial dispute. O’ Connell street’s Savoy cinema held the world premier of the Rattle And Hum movie in 1988.


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