Broken Ground

11 Feb 2012 – 25 Mar 2012

Regular hours

11:00 – 17:00
11:00 – 17:00
11:00 – 17:00
11:00 – 17:00
11:00 – 17:00

Cost of entry

Free admission

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Phoenix Art Space

Brighton, United Kingdom

Event map

Exhibition at Phoenix Brighton


We present an installation of large-scale prints by Canadian artist Derek Besant. The work is themed around core redevelopment and upheaval within several large cities, and the temporary state of chaos that results in the streets. Based on reconstructed photographic images of building sites in Budapest, Vienna, London, Toronto, Mexico City, Calgary and Shanghai, the images of these cities' infrastructures reveal them to be complex narratives embedded in space and time. Each of these cities has been undergoing major demographic and structural shifts, and these changes have had a knock on effect upon the flow of traffic and pedestrians and patterns of social interaction. Returning to each city at various intervals, the artist discovers that many of the original configurations he photographed have been dug up, covered over, or replaced by new, unfamiliar structures. Cities are continually excavating the past and dismantling the present. Besant looks upon these events as theatrical interventions or temporary acts in which people reorganize materials and space into and out of chaos. Pedestrians view the scenes through scaffolding, wire fences and traffic, and piles of bricks, coils of electrical cable and concrete bags become the props. The images in the exhibition, created using industrial printing processes onto veil-like scrims, expose aspects of the city which, by their very ubiquity, usually go unnoticed. Occasionally these sites capture our attention, and we get a fleeting glimpse of the city's underbelly. At these times we realize what is happening in the streets of every city, even this one. --------------------------------------- Alongside this is a screening of Jayne Wilson's two short films from a series about the power of the past. All That Mighty Heart offers an observation on our contemporary malady of supposed urgency, using the imagery of clocks and timekeeping. Hey Presto! reflects upon engineering, technology, time and magic, agents of change in the modern world. --------------------------------------- South Gallery: Using drawing, 3D modelling and other techniques, Peter Marsh examines the city through its architecture and the secret lives of urban foxes. -------------------------------------- BROKEN GROUND SYMPOSIUM: How Do We Experience the City? A multi disciplinary event draws upon themes in the exhibition with contributions from experts in the fields of urban planning, architecture, cultural anthropology and art. Saturday 18 February, 10:30 am - 4 pm £10 includes lunch. Details and registration at www.phoenixbrighton.org

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