The Ghosts of Tower Blocks

I see buildings falling in Glasgow. I see rubble. I ask myself where that rubble goes. I discover that it’s crushed and then used to build new pedestrian streets- so people are walking on the ghosts of tower blocks[1](Cyprien Galliard)

My most recent art practice revolves around the mysterious vista, ambiguous built structures and the alienating effects of precast brutalist structures. I am interested in how Modernist architecture felt too unhomely and inhuman for many of its occupants.

Polaroid format is my preferred form of documentation for recent field research. The ability to produce an instant small, physical, framed memento during the on-site experience of an uncanny urban moment feels almost magical in this increasingly digital age of screens. The unabashed truth and representation of dreams of concrete utopia are what attracts me to the image of this fading form of architecture. It strikes a contrast to what can feel like an increasingly less physical and less truthful experience with the world.

Through the manipulation of 2D imagery and drawing in charcoal from built concrete spaces where I have encountered a sensation of the uncanny, I am attempting to create a heterotopic alternative dimension that is familiar yet unfamiliar. The summer studio period also involved experimentation with plaster casting and the layering of print and drawing to recreate an alienating effect.

[1] GALLIARD, Cyprien., New Romantic: In Conversation with Johnathan Griffin, 2010, frieze.com, accessed 22/08/18

 

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