Dora Mejía, Garden of Eden, photomontage by artist, 2015. Landsat imagery courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
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Black Audio Film Collective, Laura Oldfield Ford, Clara Ianni, Dora Mejía and Carol Rhodes
The Sky is Falling is an exhibition and event programme that presents disparate visual imaginaries, looking at how we organise ourselves in some of the most challenging cities in our world. Exploring human desire and the promise of utopia, it contrasts the perspective of the city from above as envisaged by the modern planner with the moveable, unfixed reality of living in urban space, examining the contradictory senses of dubiousness and hope that we might feel as the sky appears to fall.
Aiming to understand the catalytic potential of cities, we examine what can emerge from different approaches to thinking around urban space. Exploring new horizons, and looking at the city in a form of documentation, the works question how space is controlled through various forms. The exhibition considers the UK’s new towns, a social and architectural form offering a modern solution to the overcrowding of industrial cities like Glasgow. Exploring the social effect of Modernist projects, Laura Oldfield Ford’s work finds form in sound, painting, zines and installation – poetic and visceral responses to histories of social housing and subculture. Carol Rhodes’ bird’s-eye view paintings provide an insight into the city as infrastructure, the winding, people-less roads telling us something of the construction of the city as a subjective, imaginative form.
Crossing the ocean, we also look at the Americas as a political horizon in which to find large urban spaces that also define our modernity. Clara Ianni’s work maps issues of mobility through cities today as well as the social destruction of ‘then.’ She interrogates the formation of Brasilia, through an interview with city planners Oscar Niemeyer and Lucio Costa, exploring the social unrest inflicted by moving the capital inland. Medellín-based Dora Mejía’s installations are invested in how we navigate the city through different perspectives, often drawing our attention to the space of the cosmos. The Garden of Eden resonates with the idea of the Global City, where growing surveillance becomes a metaphor for temptation and sin. Twilight City, a film directed by Reece Auguiste for the Black Audio Film Collective, maps a particular version of London’s social and cultural operation and experience. Introduced by a poetic, rhythmical narrative, the video essay binds personal stories with the constant pressure of London’s changing form.
Supported by LUX, Film Hub Scotland and the BFI Film Audience Network.