HS Projects curated its first major group exhibition, ‘Interchange Junctions’, at 5 Howick Place. The exhibition examines contested cultural and political histories, which carry special resonance at Howick Place, named after Viscount Howick (later 2nd Earl Grey) one of the main architects of the Reform Act 1832, Catholic emancipation and the abolition of slavery in the British Empire.
‘Interchange Junctions’ follows on from Yinka Shonibare’s permanent commission ‘Wind Sculpture’, a site specific response to the history of the area and continues Shonibare’s focus on themes of colonialism, trade, and race, employing the artist’s signature use of batik Dutch wax fabric designs which have become synonymous with African identity.
The artists in the exhibition have been invited to create a dialogue with Yinka Shonibare’s ‘Wind Sculpture’, with the multi-cultural aspect of the exhibition paying homage to the enlightened actions carried out in the name of Howick. Through a range of media from film, animation, sculpture, collage, photography, drawing, painting and performance, the artists seek to explore cultural frameworks and issues of identity and how we negotiate these through the historical legacy of our collective past and our ever evolving multi-cultural global world.
‘Interchange Junctions’ offers the opportunity to experience a number of new works and site specific commissions as well as works that have not been shown in London before. Ideas of mobility, memory and transmission, migration, trade and colonial struggle are explored along with notions of social awareness and engagement. Misinterpretation and misplacement of accepted norms from one culture to another are part of a discourse on friction between cultures, identity and cultural belonging. Notions of power, success and failure run through the exhibition challenging long held assumptions.
Participating artists: Faisal Abdu’Allah, Larry Achiampong, Faig Ahmed, Alice Anderson, Shiraz Bayjoo, David Blandy, Phoebe Boswell, Jessie Brennan, Fiona Curran, Corinne Felgate, Rose Finn-Kelcey, Romuald Hazoumè, Rob Kesseler, Alex Lawler, Alan Magee, Jade Montserrat, Alida Rodrigues, Zineb Sedira, Shahzia Sikander, Yinka Shonibare MBE, Michelle Ussher, Andy Wicks and BA(Hons) Ceramic Design Central Saint Martins students (Lucy Anderson, Sarah Christie, Yung Cheuk Chung, Srabani Ghosh, Ziynet Hidiroglu, Ellis Hooson, Sun-a Kim, Friedrich Ly Thien Co, Jessica Martin, David McQuire, Megan Niell, Niamh Philips, Jose Salgrado De Lacerda, Harriet Sennett, Sandra Stallard, Akville Zukauskaite).
During the closing event of 19th June, there was a rap performance by David Blandy and Larry Achiampong who under the alias ‘Biters’, examined the possibility for truthful, authentic experience via the popular cultures that have influenced them. They investigated what identity might mean in the post-colonial and post-mass media age by crate-digging through history, recycling already-sampled beats and reciting stolen rhymes.
‘Interchange Junctions’ was funded by Invesco Real Estate (IRE) and Urban & Civic, the joint developer behind 5 Howick Place with Doughty Hanson & Co Real Estate.
‘Interchange Junctions’ was at 5 Howick Place, Victoria London, from 10 May – 21 June 2014.
HS Projects commissioned ‘Defined Change’, a collaborative project between Shiraz Bayjoo and CRISIS. Six ex-homeless individuals were selected because of their success in reclaiming their lives, and because they presented a variety of habitats and spaces. The project aimed to explore their everyday living situations, how they act as metaphors for the past and suggest our anxieties for the future.
Working in collaboration with lead artist Shiraz Bayjoo, the participants explored key situations within their domestic lives, leading to a visual language that is expressive of both individual and collective experiences.
In analysing past traumas, the participants entered into a dialogue with Shiraz Bayjoo, discussing how present day living habits have come about, from the decorative and functional objects of the home to the interior domestic routines, such as making breakfast. This presented a voyeur like view of the habits one develops over time.
The project investigated hoarders who are compelled to catalogue every aspect of their existence, past and present. This contrasts with the entrenched rough sleepers who after a lifetime on the streets, and having finally come to terms with domestic living, reside in pristine, empty apartments, with modest acquisitions and taste.
Through the course of the discussions, the participants identified how these spaces and objects also came to signify the choices and changes they made to try to improve their situation. This was also explored in the activities and responsibilities they had chosen to take on in the outside world.
‘Defined Change’ was funded by the Insight Community Arts Programme (2002 – 2015).
The project ran from July to December 2009.