0319

A virtual gallery space.

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0319


A virtual gallery space.



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“RUIN IN REVERSE”
01 RIR 





2018

installation;
0.5 tonnes of rubble from Robin Hood Gardens consisting of
variety of bricks, glass blocks, concrete, rebar, insulation foam and other metals
suspended on a 4m high scaffolding structure,
analogue photographs printed on rubble covered in liquid emulsion

Architecture and urban planning is a mode of translating the universal order to our built world. Bricks, glass, concrete and scaffolding - materials that construct urban landscape, frame spaces and project permanence and stability. Instead, the shattered walls of Robin Hood Gardens address the fragility and disorder of the system.

The installation incorporates elements and stages of architecture and the built environment, from the moment of conception to the realisation and execution to its decay.

The material artefacts presented as a cloud of broken rubble seem to rather reconstruct the former walls - mimicking a state of liminality, yet carrying on the historical continuity of the site, where the rubble of the former Grosvenor buildings were also used to form a hill between the two concrete slabs of Robin Hood Gardens. The building, as a living entity, obeys to its prescribed fate - taking shape in a different form. 

Framing the demolition physically, my aim is to stop time, to question permanence and obsolescence — both architecture and the ideas of an era of great minds. The installation balances between the stages of the beginning and the end.  

‘A building under construction is a ruin in reverse.’ - Alison + Peter Smithson, Venice Biennale, 1976

The photographs exposed on the scattered materials show the disappearing fragmented building and the flats through the demolished walls, preserving the imprint of past inhabitation. The suspended glass blocks invite the visitors to take a closer look through these bricks onto the remainder of the building that once offered protection. The work is an abstraction of my journey, breaking down the perceived social barriers that then offered the opportunity for collaboration with the demolition workers on site. The orange barrier represents the limitations I had to come up against. Barriers are used to signify territorial boundaries, they restrict free movement, block free space and create social inequality. They are embedded in our mind as social constructs, thus challenging the status quo of the system - that is considered to be both a physical and mental limitation. Overcoming these visual boundaries, the building openly tells the story of existence within those previously protecting walls, exposing it to vulnerability. Peeling the shelter away layer by layer, just to be replaced by luxury accommodations further fuelling the fast-paced economy of abrupt changes and uncertainty. The artefacts excavated from the building aim to resurrect the silenced discussions about the future of London’s social housing.

Barriers are meant to be guidelines rather than walls.

The collected artefacts from Robin Hood Gardens play important role in carrying on the dialogue this building evoked. These materials symbolise the past and still present issues and failure of England’s social housing and council flat system. Furthermore, it raises questions about the history and future of housing in Britain, that was undeniably changed by the rise of supercapitalism.


The project re-imagines and further abstracts the utopian ideas of radical thinker group, Team 10 (core members Alison and Peter Smithson, the architect duo of Robin Hood Gardens).







© 2023 Barbara Bazso