Tuesday, 17 May 2011

In Certain Places: The Monument and the Changing City Symposium
I attended a symposium at University of Central Lancashire. It was designed to examine the impact, purpose and aesthetic merit of public commemorative and memorial works from across the world, and the role of public memory within the changing city. The speakers included: Paul Gough, Lubaina Himid, Alan Rice, Jonathan Vickery, Charles Quick and Chris Meigh-Andrews.

    Flash at Hebburn by Charles Quick

Having been to a brilliant symposium run by In Certain Places last year, I was keen to attend this one. In previous work I have looked at the importance of derelict buildings and their ability to encapsulate the past in a way that heritage sites can not. I wrote an essay referring to the work of Pierre Nora with regard to lieux de mémoire and how dominant sites of memory, such as memorials, do not evoke the same sense of remembering as grass-root sites.

With this in mind I was hoping there would be more discussion on temporary grass-root intervention that can act as an alternative to monuments. Although this was briefly touched on in a discussion session before lunch, there was not enough time to push these ideas further. 

I felt that Paul Gough was the most relevant speaker for me and I intend to look up his writings at http://www.vortex.uwe.ac.uk/. He also mentioned the artist Toni Morrison who may be of interest to me.

You can watch all the speakers at http://incertainplaces.org/category/talks-and-debates  and they are definitely worth a look. 

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