Prague International Biennale for Contemporary Art 2005
We were invited to contribute work to this years Biennale in Prague. Working within the theme of Performative Space we developed an installation that focussed on three key themes relating to the work of the studio. Performativity was interpreted in terms of the imaginative 'dance' which takes place within the design studio environment between projects which cross-fertilise and enter into dialogue, sometimes deliberately in an orchestrated manner, most often through less formal means of everyday actions and the shear presence of models, drawings, sketches, materials which inhabit the space we occupy as designers. It was also a commentary on the nature of urbanity which we encounter in London specifically, and through which we experience diverse, sometimes strange, conflicting and accidental juxtapositions. We recognise that these unplanned relationships are as much a part of the strong identity of places we know as those which are deliberately constructed. In many ways they are stronger because they occur from actions of everyday living in the city rather than through a preconceived overview.
We developed three territories relating to themes of dwelling, play and town drawn from references to current projects - the house on Portobello Road, Childrens Centres and our work in Erith. They were placed at close proximity but also at a distance so that the passage of movement between them created a physical 'dance' within the exhibition space equivalent to the various movements which take place around projects - in the imagination and also in physical movements between meetings, sites, discussions with various people in various places. We posit that this represents an insight into the everyday metabolism of the city and what gives it its creative impetus and vitality.
The installation was presented to, discussed and developed with diploma students from Nottingham University who detailed and constructed the pieces in situ as part of their year studies under the tutelage of David Dernie, the curator of the exhibition.