Remembering the Future
Created by Carolyn Defrin with Paul Burgess, Levitt Bernstein architects and older residents housed by Hammersmith United Charities
The London Festival of Architecture's Where do you think you are? exhibition at St. Paul's Centre in Hammersmith, June 2017
Critical Care Symposium, Borough Road Gallery London South Bank University, March 2018
"an opportunity to fuse architectural practice and expression with artistic vision and expression." -Tim Hughes, Chief Executive Director, Hammersmith United Charities
Working with video artist Paul Burgess, I interviewed and filmed 7 older residents housed by Hammersmith United Charities to discover their perspectives on living in the housing schemes, as well as their memories of living in Hammersmith and the world at large.
From the practical to the expressive, these reflections fill the architectural models that have been built by Levitt Bernstein to reflect the flats at the charity and inform future housing development.
Participating residents attended the opening launch party of the exhibition or came to visit throughout the exhibition with the housing scheme managers.
"...a clever and creative representation of the lives of people living in a small community--all beautifully recreated with humour, compassion and empathy." -Clodaugh, participant & resident of John Betts House
Remembering the Future
"A sticky jammy dodger and crocheted places for my hands to sit. I love projection that hits actual things, the physical blueprint of the house, balsa-ed up into spaces - quite cold and alien - and the framing of the residents , their places and their memories. Two disabled hedgehogs and the silence. An intersection of that flimsy construction, the ephemeral projection light and the solid dark furniture seems to activate something of this housing scheme - something of the fragility and solidity of that existence. Nostos and Algia - the reconstruction of the lost home and the longing which delays the homecoming. I move around the space and choose how much time to spend with Bob and how much with Peggy, but what is missed? There is shortbread and a digestive - fake grass too. Where does this spectacle happen? In its arrangements and fragments of encounters. I see the chair, the table and the universal symbol for door placed there. Blueprints leading me back to the building. Flats going up. Section 106 payments not made. Unaffordability. 'There's no strangers, there's no fear'. The aesthetics of housing.
Six people in a semi-circle face each other and watch. Sometimes I watch the person opposite. There is a gentle sense of interaction, a gentle question. the scruff of our neck is not grabbed. Time is in play and the piece settles around us a little more, rather than us being immersed or plunged into an experience. I don't think about my choices as much. This is not time bound. It is an opening in the day to be and distance is allowed." - Jo Scott