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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The Alive Playground

apinvitation

The Alive Playground is a simple -both elegant and readable- intervention by Brígida  Campbell in a children’s playground in Pendleton, Salford. The work was created in collaboration with IUD, and local school children who played happily and noisily in their break time whilst Brigida made sound recordings.

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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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Architectures of Displacement – Salford, UK & Guangzhou, China – Temporary Research Space

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IUD archive image. Close up from a council neighbourhood being cleared for private homes. Salford, UK: 2012.

Currently IUD is exhibiting in The Fire and the Rose curated by Tongyu Zhou as part of the Asia Triennial 14. The work is located in the Vertical Gallery, 3rd Floor, Benzie Building , Manchester School of Art at Manchester Metropolitan University. We have created a Temporary Research Space, an invitation to spend time exploring selected materials from our archive, derived from fieldwork and other research in Salford, UK and Guangzhou, China. Also included are a small sample of related critical and fieldwork texts. The show is on until November 28th.

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Paris – Invisible City – Bruno Latour & Emilie Hermant

041Latour & Hermant’s on-line book Paris: Invisible City (1998) presents a challenge to all urban photographers and the observational methods central to their work. The project questions how much we really can understand about the modern city by simply looking. Starting off on the rooftop of the famous La Samaritaine department store it begins by examining the panorama of Paris.

The book explores the labyrinth of overlapping networks that underpin the functioning of the city. Using Latour’s Actor-Network-Theory as a methodology, it highlights the ‘invisible’ and unnoticed connectivities that compose the city. It presents us with a layered portrait of place “bypassed by the normative representational mode” (Networks of Design). Latour uses the term ‘oligopticon’ to define these hidden networks that ultimately serve to make Paris the functioning city that it is. As a social researcher he believes that they are a means to appreciate the intertwined totality of municipal space. Unlike the absolutist all seeing gaze of Foucault’s panopticon, with the oligopticon “extremely narrow views of the (connected) whole are made possible–as long as connections hold” (p.181, Reassembling the Social). By drawing our attention to the complexity of these ‘co-existences’, the work ultimately demonstrates the sheer impossibility of understanding Paris or any urban space through a single image or glance.

BLatour

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