extract from January 31st 2016, at Browns, Cambridge
I talk about my recent project in Impington and introduce the issue of migration, Paul then mentions the work of Saskia Sassen.
P : The reason I am interested in this if because I have been thinking a great deal recently about migration. I am writing a book about the durable and the ephemeral, it is projected as a four chapter book. One of the chapters, the third is called the inside and the outside and what I try to do in that is to do…. imagine a sort of line so that there is a left column and a right column. Now in both columns I am talking about the relation about the outside and the inside, however in the left column I talk about it in relation to the human body and in the right column I talk about it in relation to place, the biography of place and the morphology of place. … what has been described as the geography of exclusion in relation to travellers, gyspies, the to city walls, the I deal with frontiers and finally I deal with immigration in terms of outside and inside…..
Oliver Bennet mentions us in the paper. This is also what art can do: to point the attention to contexts and issues, the interpretation of which is out of our hands…
The workshops facilitated by Elena Cologni with participants was a way to revive the ‘Corridor Club’, the memory of the original one running since 1939, as Judith, from Impigton Library and archives reports:
From Vol 1 of Impington College Magazine (Box G, 71 Page 22) Brief reference to the Corridor Club “Beside the development of the purely educational activities there is the canteen, library and Corridor Club management; the organisation of social evenings, debates, etc, and the supervision of evening transport. We are indebted to Miss Chivers and the Histon Institute for the use of two table-tennis tables, to Mr Charles Unwin for the use of a small billiard table and to Major Bryant for the use of a dart board. We envisage for the near future a Club equipped with adequate facilities for all our young students.”
The countryside which inspired Morris’ model of the Village Colleges is now a memory. Evacuees from London during the 2 world war or migrant workers from the region and overseas employed in the Chivers’ farm business since the 1930’s have all contributed to the expansion of Impington. As Judith Brown (Impington Librarian in charge of the historical archives) found: ‘Sept 1940 number on school roll 291 which included 17 evacuees rose quickly Oct 1940 362 inc. 82 evacuees. The population of the area Impington Village College served was about 10,000 (10 villages)’.
I became interested in knowing a bit more about these people whose lives and stories are very rarely discussed and difficult to locate in the archives. These tend to document other aspects of those times through stronger voices. I became interested in those empty spaces in social history, and decided to work on my artistic response by positioning them at the core of my work. This was done by experimenting with people’s relating to each other and the place, and making this relation tangible.
The notion of the rural is central to the workshop led by Rebecca Beinard on the 25th of October.
Gropius on interdisciplinarity, at the basis of the Bauhaus, and also very relevant for all artists adopting a similar approach today:
from GROPIUS, THE BAUHAUS AND THE FUTURE
by JACK PRITCHARD, Journal of the Royal Society of Arts
Vol. 117, No. 5150 (JANUARY 1969), pp. 75-94
looking back at a few things, for my new body of work,and the book chapter (2010) ‘that spot in the moving picture is you: perception in time-based art’, in Freeman Blood Sweat and Theory. Research Through Practice in Performance as mentioned here
or like this video
[…] the school must provide for the feeding and training of the emotions and the senses through the Arts – first by means of a building which is a work of art and gaily decorated, and also through music and drama and the dance. In all countries it is here that the school fails tragically. The result , everywhere, in all communities is wholesale, emotional and bodily malajustment and unhappiness. Impington Village College is a Community Centre for the Arts where children can consume and enjoy co-operatively all the art forms which otherwise would be impossible
Henry Morris, part of a radio programme broadcast on the North American Service titled “British Education Look Ahead – The New Senior School in Britain” September 1942
image courtesy of the Impington Village College Archives
Met Cristina Bogdan to discuss the relevance of Modernism today, the recurrent presence of collages of bits from that past into our everyday. Layering of meanings and possibilities in relation to our heritage and past. We are starting to develop some material (I) and immaterial (she) disruptions to this beautiful and safe context.