I spent yesterday evening in the company of an old friend, who also happens to be a new resident of Glasgow. It made me think again about that relationship between people and place. This project really started with a curiosity about what our surroundings do to us. How much space does a human being need? Why do we form emotional attachments to some places and not others – and why has social housing so often seemed to consider few or none of these factors? It was one of those rare warm, sunny evenings and was a lovely way to wind down after a spirited morning discussing and debating the crossovers between artists and curators. The event was organised by the Scottish Contemporary Art Network and was an opportunity to chat to people who see curation as an important part of their practice. A topic I don’t often consider if I’m honest, but as someone who collects bits and pieces from time to time, and maintains a small archive, I suppose it’s quite an integral part of my practice. So, food for thought on several counts.
I’m back working in Stills today, on the sound edit. This has been more time consuming than I had anticipated, but I’ve been plugging away and am quite pleased with how it has allowed me to condense my floaty ideas into a solid structure and a more realisable aim for the visuals. I have lots of bits of cut up film on the desk beside me, which I’ve been moving around and imagining as shabby towers, still standing but a little the worse for wear. The remains of the Red Row in Glasgow have been spared for the time being.
People still care about the places they’ve lived, no matter how grim they might look or how many of the lifts are broken. We form attachments, build communities, put down roots. Even if we didn’t have much choice in our situation at first. Reminding us about this lack of choice, and reaffirming it with a wrecking ball seems like the worst kind of social care.