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A Nodding Acquaintance, 2017

Dimensions: Variable.

Materials: Hardwood, acrylic paint, cotton, emulsion paint, vinyl, overhead camera, live feed to monitor.

Commissioned by Edge Arts for Parallel (of Life and) Architecture group exhibition with Assemble & Simon Terrill, The Decorators & Goig in response to the work of Alison & Peter Smithson.

Exhibited: Edge Arts, Bath. For reviews see Journal of Architecture and Thisistomorrow

The Smithsons were fascinated in the form of and occupation of city streets, developing designs for ‘cluster’ housing blocks with streets in the air. A Nodding Acquaintance responds to the Smithson’s interest in ‘cluster’ as a new system of relationships. 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 while sitting, leaning or standing, is inspired by the designs for cluster housing and furniture of post-war street parties. Its form, seen in the monitor in ‘plan view’ is reminiscent of the architect’s gaze and the omnipresent gaze of surveillance cameras. From the present day, the work nods to the Smithson’s oeuvre, the changing values in social relations and notions of nationhood.

Images in order: Peter Blakemore, Warren & Mosley, Peter Brandt, Warren & Mosley.

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