Seamus Harahan's video, installation, film and sound based practice engages directly with place. His starting point is not the making of art; instead his strategy is to forget and just film the social and cultural environment around him. Harahan uses his video camera - a relatively accessible and moderately affordable technology - to take hand-held, seemingly amateur footage, the contents of this footage, locating himself and locating others, through found activity occurring around him. The main subject is often the urban environment, its incidental detail and fugitive nature. Music is a vital element in all of Harahan's works, with songs used as soundtracks or informing the composition, title or duration of individual pieces. The artist takes songs from an eclectic range of sources, including reggae and hip hop as well as English and Irish traditional music.
Harahan was a director of Catalyst Arts Belfast from 1996-98. His work was featured in Assembly, A survey of Recent Artists' Flms and Video in Britain 2008-13 at Tate Britain, London. Cold Open received the Jury Award at Ann Arbor Film Festival, Michigan, in 2014. He represented Northern Ireland in the 51st Venice Biennale in 2005 and received a Paul Hamlyn Award for Artists in 2009. He was artist in residence at Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris, in spring 2015. He lives and works in Belfast and is represented in London by Gimpel Fils.