Wednesday, 16 February 2011


My dear friends Stephen Mackie and Séan McAlister are currently showing their exhibition meta architecture at the gallery space at Lo records hosted by Bradley Lloyd who I first met wearing denim short in dalston superstore (ask me no questions, i tell you no lies). Honestly, it's taken me so long to get round to posting that tonight is the last chance to view, but heck, I sent out emails, posters and chat so far as I can't be blamed for you not knowing!

The aim of the exhibition of drawings, video and sound is to explore how to observe and describe the subjective, perspectival experience of being in space and the subject of a more overarching space, some might say 'urban space' or the blanket term of the city. Two spaces, a Hackney flat and the gallery in which the exhibition hangs, were extensively surveyed and represented in works that both conform and abstract standard architectural drawing conventions in a search for a description of experiencing space. Video collage, a technique developed by the pair, augments the normal postcard view to link to what the eye sees and how one might start to represent ones field of vision. To get closer to the state of existing within the filmed space, much more than panning or panorama can achieve.

Last Thursday they hosted a talk by Lorens Holm, followed by an open discussion. Lorens is both a tutor at Dundee and a more personal mentor to the project, as his latest book did much to continue the strand of research shared by Stephen and Sean. The discussion rose a lot of questions and retorts as those about subjectivity do, but it did reveal and clarify thoughts that were perhaps on the edge of my mind.

It's commendable to see an exhibition of work talking primarily about architectural experience. Although the work consisted of high quality expressive images, the role of the image was not to be held behind glass and paraded as prophetic. Maybe it's coming from humble beginnings but there is an absence of self consciousness, a study not beyond questioning, a study for questioning - inherent in their own curatorial programme - and over all, a means, rather than an end.

This definitely broadcasts a proactive future, and one which no-one can protest is beyond their means. In these cases I do have an uncomfortable feeling when people use the word entrepreneur, as it conjures in me a goal of innate uniformity and that without discourse. Is there another word for this act? ...Just ignore it and carry on.

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