Architectures of Displacement – Guangzhou, China. Tate Liverpool.

In April IUD created a Temporary Research Space to showcase at the Tate Exchange, Tate Liverpool. The work examined the current transformation of Chinese housing, focusing on domestic sites in Guangzhou. Drawing on fieldwork, the research space created an interactive resource of videos, texts and photographs to handle. The work is part of IUD’s ongoing witnessing of the dispossession and displacement produced by contemporary strategies of capital accumulation centred on housing.

The showcase also featured the screening of two films: A Walk in Xian Village (2015) and Industrial Road (2015).

IUD Jane in Xian Village (2015). Photo by John van Aitken.

Working with the LOOK 17 Photography Festival, IUD also organised a number of public talks at the Tate Liverpool and the Museum of Liverpool to explore the consequential geographies produced by the unbuilding and reimagining of these domestic landscapes at home and in China.

Below are a selection of recordings from the talks given:

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Promising Home – The Temporary Research Space

We have been working with designer maker Tim Denton to develop a new temporary research space structure for our exhibition at the People’s History Museum. The new research structure will accomodate materials from our extensive documentation of the changes occuring to the Pendleton housing estate where we have worked on since 2004.

The structure will home a small library relating to council housing and a photographic archive detailing the physical changes to the housing and the local residential environment. Relevant donations of books and research materials to the space are welcomed.

The research space draws on a wide range of influences from Owenite Halls of Science, Soviet workers reading rooms, Lenin Corners, to the architecture of Constant and Archigram .

Former Director of the People’s History Museum Dr Nick Mansfield will be talking about the history of such worker’s educational spaces at the People’s History Museum at our late event Radicals Assemble! Demand Utopia! on January 12th 2017.

installation-iud-jane

IUD Archive Imge (2016) Installation at PHM

https://i1.wp.com/www.artscouncil.org.uk/sites/default/files/download-file/lottery_Logo_Black%20RGB.jpg

Documenting the Danwei

“ A whole history remains to be written of space – which would at the same time be the history of powers – from the great strategies of geo-politics to the tactics of the habitat… Anchorage in a space is an economico-political form that needs to be studied in detail.”

Michel Foucault The Eye of Power (1977)

Danwei Street with plants and washing

IUD image. Guangzhou, China: 2014

As part of our long term project exploring the surviving remains of  ‘socialist sites’ IUD have been documenting the residential areas of the Chinese danwei in Guangzhou’s Haizhu district.

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Unbuilding….

unbuiltWe have been thinking a lot about unbuilding as we observe the creative destruction of tower blocks in Salford (see the above photo by IUD on the ground). These demolitions are part of the first phase of a PFI driven gentrification project. In this process many social housing tenants are evicted and their homes replaced with houses and flats for sale on the open market. The demolition industry along with property developers, builders, finance companies and so on benefit from regeneration, which is not really about the provision of better homes but the redistibution of assets, from the poor to the rich. Demolition also functions at a symbolic level, as it rids us of unwanted architectural forms, in this case high rise social housing. The significance of this is not in some failure of the modernist architectural project but the destruction of viable homes and the displacement of the poor. Regeneration in this instance calls for the replacement of unwanted bodies with the healthy bodies of the rich who have money to spend and don’t rely so heavily on council services. In her book Where the Other Half Lives, Sarah Glynn says ” ‘regeneration’ sounds as though it could be a good thing, but it is being used as a Trojan horse for state-sponsored ‘accumulation by dispossession’ on a massive scale”(page 72).

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Detonation Deutschland Diptych by Piero Steinle

 

This is an ongoing selection of resources on unbuilding, rubble, demolition etc.

Julian Rosefeldt and Piero Steinle made a video installation from archival sequences of demolitions called Detonation Deutschland. See the diptych above and more on Piero’s Steinle’s website.

 

boulevard-henri-iv-place de la bastille

Boulevard Henri IV, Place de la Bastille, demolished section of Paris photographed by Charles Marville 1876.

Photographs made by Charles Marville of the demolition of large sections of Paris by Baron Haussmann. Marville’s work is digitized in the collection of the Musee Carnavalet (search in French only).

Artist Hilary Powell’s work is an exploration of and collaboration with demolition sites, materials and stories    http://demolitionsite.net

Rubble: unearthing the history of demolition, by Jeff Byles and published by Three Rivers Press is a well researched popular history of demolition.

This is an academic paper, which explores the performative properties of asbestos in the demolition process: Inextinguishable fibres: demolition and the vital materialisms of asbestos by Nicky Gregson, Helen Watkins & Melania Calestani, published in Environment & Planning Journal 2010, volume 42.

therubbleclub.com: a club for architects whose creations have been intentionally destroyed during their life time.

10 minute promotional video of back to back demolitions by Controlled Demolition Inc

more to follow….

 

 

 

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