Esther Planas: Urban Field Work

To date in these blogs we haven’t really looked at any of the artists in our Spectres of Modernism protest. We deliberately didn’t provide biographies or links to their websites because we wanted our focus here to be on our campaign; we also figured anyone who was interested in one of more of the artists they weren’t already familiar with could look them up online. As our banners will be removed from Bowater House in less than a month, and they’ve achieved the impact we hoped for, it will not be too distracting if we engage with some of the urban interventions our artists have been involved in now.

Many of our ‘artists against overdevelopment’ have produced work that might be described as ‘psychogeography’ or ‘deep topology’. To provide just one example of this here, we’ll now focus on a film and photography series by Esther Planas entitled E2 8DY Walk About 2011-2015. This visually records the neighbourhood in which Planas lived at the time she made the work; it’s about 20 minutes walk east of Golden Lane. We’re just going to quote the English text she provides about this, the Spanish text is longer. We reproduce one photograph from the series above, there are many more on her website. The full project can be found at the link at the bottom of this, and obviously there’s much much more on the many other pages Esther Planas has put online.

The Film: Walking on the whereabouts near my place, with a sound artefact and a small camera, the desolated field and the special totem that holds a whole building with its concrete anima are all manifesting calling up for rebellion. Sound and field recording of a somehow unresolved situation.

The Photos: Doing walking urban research, a series of photos taken between 2011 and 2015, an ongoing journal of walks around the area where I live, the same buildings that I see from my window, the streets, the estates I cross and how they are becoming derelict, the casual gardens, the plants and flowers, the birds and squirrels.

“Affectivity—fear, ambivalence, terror, shame, disorientation, or dispossession—figures prominently in addressing the subject’s identification with, or resistance to, the indeterminacy of change. Affect registers and regulates the subject’s ambivalent and anxious responses as it faces what is new, partially known, or without guarantees; at the same time it provides the agent with an imminent sense of sensory and bodily attentiveness to the task of change. To the extent that affectivity is crucial in positioning subjects in relation to contingent and indeterminate circumstances, affect is an acute measure of the time change takes—in particular, the temporalities of transition or transience.” Homi K Bhabha

See the full project here:

“A spectre is haunting the cynical overdevelopment that characterises London’s buy to leave property boom, the spectre of modernism!” #savegoldenlane


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