Thursday, 12 June 2008

Searching for Sebald

Victoria Lem's photographs trace memories of place, the remnants of past activities. For Ruinous Recollections, Vic is searching for Sebald, the German author who discovered echoes of his own traumatic past in Manchester and Salford's industrial shadows. The image above from Castlefield basin represents the initial experience of Vic's exploration of Sebald's spatial memories. Visit her blog for more insight into her thoughts on the project.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Describing Industrial Ruins

The language used to describe the industrial ruin is closely in tune with the vocabulary of death and decay. Identified with decomposition and the corpse, industrial ruins are verbally described as sites that rot through the passing of time, architectures that ultimately present a skeleton of their original form. To align ruins with death implies a collection of negative connotations. Within this dialogue, ruins are unpleasant blemishes upon the urban fabric, cancerous sites in the city. Industrial ruins crumble, collapse, decay, disintegrate, decompose, fragment and perish. The literal allusions to death are magnified as these buildings become mouldy, smelling and rotting like cadavers. Despite the olfactory and visual analogies to the deceased corpse, industrial ruins are not dead, useless spaces. It is their decay that allows them to be sites of memory, where the ghosts to the past can inhabit the present.

Flyering Recollections

Above is the great new flyer for Ruinous Recollections at Upper Space Gallery, opening Friday 27th June 2008. Special thanks to Nick for designing it and to Bec for letting us use her work in progress photograph of Cecil Street. Please come along to the exhibition, and see what our five fantastic artists have been discovering & creating!

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

From Sackville to Tiergarten

Visit Paul Harfleet's excellent blog to discover more of his thoughts on researching for Ruinous Recollections. Paul recently exhibited in Berlin, and whilst there had chance to visit the new National Memorial for Homosexual Victims of National Socialism in Tiergarten. In his post, he links this site with the Sackville Park location of Turing's monument, bringing both into his work's exploration of the depiction of gayness in the heteronormative public environment.