How public are public spaces?
What are the possibilities of subverting public space, its use and adaptation, when that public space is a building?
The Showroom re-opens with the second iteration of Affection as Subversive Architecture – Unauthorised Entry Permitted, convened in collaboration with Spanish architecture studio Recetas Urbanas and architect Blanca Pujals. Building upon a year-long collaboration, the project invites individuals, local groups, researchers and practitioners to engage with an archive of ‘urban recipes’ produced by Recetas Urbanas in a trajectory spanning more than twenty years.
Affection as Subversive Architecture – Unauthorised Entry Permitted reflects upon processes of collective thinking around modes of spatial organisation, and the formation of new social relationships within and beyond public cultural institutions. The project exists in two parts:
Firstly, an archival display at The Showroom ground floor gallery space, which includes documentary videos narrating Recetas Urbanas’ former projects and a selection of printed material available to read on-site.
Secondly, a series of discursive, participatory workshops are due to take place either online or in person in small groups over the coming months.
Throughout October-December, together with Blanca Pujals, those who live and work in the Church Street ward are invited to join a series of discussion groups focused on experiences since the outbreak of Covid-19, in particular thinking about the spaces we inhabit daily, and new spatial needs that have arisen due to the crisis. These conversations will draw upon the ways in which Recetas Urbanas have worked to build new infrastructures with collectives and community groups across Spain and with local groups in urban contexts internationally.
Contextualising and framing the archival content in the gallery space, wall paintings of architect Santiago Cirugeda’s characteristic personal monthly schedules - from January and February 2020 - chart the lead-up to the first iteration of the project in London. These scaled-up reproductions of Cirugeda’s idiosyncratic notebooks represent the timeframes and fluctuations of his Studio’s international practice in relation to conversations with a network of collaborators; showing how these intersect and take shape amidst the flow of daily life between public, private, cultural and social spheres.
The reopening of the project in September 2020 is marked by a new section of Cirugeda’s diary from March to April, inviting audiences to reflect on the gaps that have opened up and our daily transformations since the arrival of the pandemic. For Cirugeda, Tip-ex strips overlay formerly concrete plans, and whilst movement is restricted, communication continues towards enabling localised conversations, such as those that will be taking place in the Church Street neighbourhood.
Creating a forum for urgent issues at stake in the neighbourhood – and elsewhere, these discussions will explore possibilities for generating communal learning environments, sharing research via small-scale gatherings in person or online. Questions will address how we can work within the on-going crisis to establish new frameworks for collaboration and make use of our public spaces; aiming to further understand and think through resolutions to the spatial needs that have arisen due to current conditions since lockdown. In this way, the project considers the social to be a part of the cultural realm, acting as a case study towards questioning how cultural spaces can facilitate exchange and collaboration.
Ultimately, Affection as Subversive Architecture – Unauthorised Entry Permitted seeks to reconfigure our understanding of social spaces and the ethics of care, whilst facilitating new forms of self-governance and alternative pedagogies, creating the possibility for citizens to participate in the construction of the public sphere. Moreover, it aims to create a circular economy whereby the ethos of collective learning creates self-empowered communities. This poetic gesture of radical collectivity aims to challenge our understanding of the ways in which cultural institutions are conceived.
With special thanks to Recetas Urbanas and Blanca Pujals; to Elliot Anderson, Being Free Being Me project (Maria Souto and Cátia Lopes), Elliott Denny, Katherine Finerty, Lily Hall, Andy Healy, Seema Manchanda, Raúl Muñoz de la Vega, Juan G. Pelegrina, Berta Ros, Adam Shield, Patricia Terry, and Goldsmiths BA Curating students 2019-2020.
The Showroom has your safety at heart.
Hand sanitising and masks
- It will be mandatory to clean your hands when you arrive with hand sanitizer, which will be provided at the entrance to the exhibition.
- We ask you to bring your own mask and to wear this at all times whilst indoors. Entry will not be permitted without a mask.
Exceptions to this request to wear a mask are:
- Where a person cannot put on, wear, or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment or disability (within the meaning of section 6 of the Equality Act 2010), or without severe distress.
- Where a person is providing a lip-reading service to a person they are with.
Please let us know in advance when you book your ticket if this applies to you so that the team are aware and can plan accordingly.
- Our toilet will not be open to the public, unless you have specific access needs without which you could not visit. If you have a special reason for needing access to a toilet please inform us in advance by emailing email@example.com with the header ‘Toilet Access Requirements’.
- Regular deep cleaning of The Showroom is being undertaken.
- All high-frequency touch points in the building are regularly cleaned and maintained.
- Hand sanitiser is readily available for use at the exhibition entrance, and at the visitors desk in the Gallery space should you wish to re-apply during your visit.
- The Showroom has a step-free entrance on Boscobel Street to the ground floor Gallery space, and a platform lift to our first floor Studio space. However, the first floor and Studio is not accessible to the public due to restrictions caused by COVID-19, and is not suitable for wheelchair users as currently we cannot ensure safe evacuation.
BOOKING IS NOW REQUIRED
Your ticket covers the period of time at which you are welcome at The Showroom. We politely request that you are ready to leave at the end of the hour so we can welcome the next bookings.
If you cannot book online you should be able to book with our staff on the door (subject to availability).
Please contact the gallery in advance of your visit for more access information or if you have any further questions. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.