Leaving Shanghai – Book Launch

Aitken & Brake, Shanghai Blue (2019)

 

Leaving Shanghai – Book Launch

John van Aitken & Jane Brake

Please join us at the Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool, for the launch of the artist book Leaving Shanghai. Focusing on the mega city, this photo-text work is a critical reflection on the elevated city view through encounters with supertall buildings, hotels, observation decks, residential tower blocks, shopping centres and media imagery. Leaving Shanghai considers the spatial politics behind China’s economic success and the atmospheric conditions which affect photography and the air we breathe.

The launch event will include screenings, readings, guest speakers and a discussion about photography and the megacity.

The event is part of LOOK 19 Photo Biennial.

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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West of the Tracks (Tie Xi Qu)

Wang Bing’s immersive nine hour documentary epic explores the changing world of China between 1999 to 2001. Set in the North-East of the country in Shenyang, his observational style records the physical and social textures of the regions heavy industry in its final stages before closure through bankruptcy.

Divided into three sections (Rust, Remnants and Rails) the documentary uses a ‘direct cinema’ approach to faithfully witness the people caught up in the massive changes to their work and homes as a consequence of reform era changes to the former planned market economy. See Jie Li’s excellent article for a further analysis of the film’s context and cinematic style West of the Tracks – Salvaging the Rubble of Utopia.

West-of-the-tracks

West of the Tracks (2002)

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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Spatial justice and Urban De(re)generation

“Just as none of us are beyond geography, none of us is completely free from the struggle over geography. That struggle is complex and interesting because it is not only about soldiers and cannons but also about ideas, about forms, about images and imaginings.” Edward Said, Culture & Imperialism

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IUD Archive Image. Uneven Development research project. Public space next to a residential neighbourhood being cleared and gentrified with luxury high rise flats. Guangzhou, China: 2013.

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