Northern Ireland based artist Theo Sims’ Candahar Bar is a detailed recreation of an Irish public house, named for a street in Belfast and based on that city’s now defunct Blackthorn Bar. Part sculpture, part theatrical stage, The Candahar is an artwork that is also a functioning bar, open to the public and staffed in collaboration with two Belfast bartenders who act as unscripted performers. The project fuses the authentic with fantasy, spectacle with stage, and at its heart acts as a catalyst for conversation, debate and dialogue and a pint here or there.
During the sixteen days of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, Presentation House Gallery is staging The Candahar as a locus for social interaction and the host site for an ambitious series of nightly events musical programs, theatrical presentations, performances and dialogues, both scripted and unscripted. Programmed by author Michael Turner, as well as by invited guests, including Winnipeg artist Paul Butler, the Candahar will feature an extensive and diverse series of events by local and international visual artists, musicians, writers and more.