A Nodding Acquaintance

Mosley, J. and Warren, S. and Warren and Mosley (2017) A Nodding Acquaintance. [Creative work: general category] Available from: http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/34726

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Abstract/Description

Dimensions: Variable. Materials: Structure – hardwood and acrylic paint; Union Jack bunting – cotton and emulsion paint; arrows – vinyl; overhead camera and live feed to monitor. Introduction: ‘A Nodding Acquaintance’, by artist Sophie Warren and architect Jonathan Mosley, was commissioned by Edge Arts, Bath University for ‘Parallel (of Life and) Architecture’ group exhibition with Turner Prize winners Assemble & Simon Terrill and The Decorators & Goig in response to the work of British architects Alison and Peter Smithson. Abstract: 'Any coming together is cluster… a new system of relationships.' Peter and Alison Smithson (1) Alison and Peter Smithson were fascinated by the form and occupation of city streets, particularly those in the East End of London where everything from daily exchanges to street parties took place. The Smithsons' were driven to facilitate these interactions and encounters through spatial design, creating 'cluster' housing blocks with 'streets in the air'. 'A Nodding Acquaintance' overlays a street party on the space of the gallery. A live, but unrecorded overhead view is presented, writing the viewer into the architectural plan. In this setting, visitors are invited to become active protagonists in a shifting choreography of objects, bodies and architecture. A timber structure for talking or idling whilst sitting, leaning or standing, is inspired both by the architectural plan of the 'streets in the air' within the Smithsons' cluster housing block, and furniture brought out into Victorian terrace streets as captured in Nigel Henderson's photographs of post-war East End street parties. Union Jack bunting, partially erased and dismantled, raises questions of the shifting values of nationhood and sovereignty between the post-war period and the present day. The title 'A Nodding Acquaintance' is taken from the Smithsons' 1953 diagram 'Hierarchy of Association' that summarises their studies into voluntary and involuntary relations between people in houses, streets, districts and cities. They formulated the 'cluster' concept as the 'invention of an architecture that is structured by notions of association' (2), applying the principle to the strident and monumental, yet ultimately un-built design for Golden Lane Estate in London. Warren and Mosley realise the cluster at another scale as a framework for the body, and continue the Smithson's desire for architecture at all scales that engenders human relations. 1. Alison and Peter Smithson, 'The Charged Void: Urbanism' (New York: Monacelli Press, 2005) pp32 2. Alison and Peter Smithson, 'Ordinariness and Light' (London: Faber & Faber, 1970) pp11 http://warrenandmosley.com/ https://www.edgearts.org/whats-on/visual-arts/parallel-life-architecture/ https://www.edgearts.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/IC138-Parallel-Exhibition-Guide-AW.pdf https://www.edgearts.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/IC138-Parallel-SJ-Guide-AW2.pdf

Item Type:Creative work: general category
Additional Information:A review of this item can be accessed here: https://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/ePvwwdFrfsmHcH5iTc65/full.
Uncontrolled Keywords:art installation, architecture, installation, brutalism, modernism, Alison and Peter Smithson, Golden Lane Estate, cluster housing, social choreography, proxemics, mediated presence
Faculty/Department:Faculty of Environment and Technology > Department of Architecture and the Built Environment
ID Code:34726
Deposited By: J. Mosley
Deposited On:31 Jan 2018 10:27
Last Modified:30 Apr 2018 15:28

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