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East End Transmissions: Exhibition & Publication

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East End Transmissions

Jen Devonshire,  Aideen Doran,  Virginia Hutchison, Thomas Leyland Collins, Kit Mead, Douglas Morland, Janie Nicoll, Lyndsey Smith and  Susannah Stark.

November 14th – December  7th Preview: ThursdayNovember 13th 6-9pm

 A Curatorial project by Francesca Zappia

Press Release

Within the shadows of this year of ‘Culture’ and Commonwealth Games hosted for the most part in the East End of Glasgow, there has been a growing disquiet, a deep questioning of the regeneration project of this once flourishing industrial area, its culture and its inhabitants. Traces of what the East End of Glasgow has been – its characters, communities, shops, markets, cinemas and theatres – remain in the undeniable energy and memories of the East Enders. A history that also remains in libraries and local archives, where there are remnants of the East End as the heart of the city, with its cathedral, necropolis, university [1] and the Green, once the park par excellence of the second city of the Empire, now similarly ‘eclipsed’ by its West End version. Much of the history of the East End resides not in large monuments or statues but in the occasional engraved pavement slabs, stories of industry related growth and tragedy (Templeton disaster), of working class struggle (The Calton Weavers) and May-Days at the Green, and the darker world of scientific revolution and discovery of Alexander Wilson or James Watt, sometimes uncannily played on executed bodies gleaned from the Gallowgate (Matthew Clydesdale).

And still in the archives, there are voluminous quantities of promotional flyers giving details of – high-rise buildings, motorways! – urban utopias, an East End constantly in regeneration, each time drawn with urban modern care from the Fifties to the present. Rather than ameliorating the life conditions of the East Enders, these ‘renewals’ created large scale depopulation, polluted wastelands, and new ruins fortuitously designed for collapsing concrete spectacles (The Gallowgate Twins).

The latest of these series of urban plans is the Clyde Gateway, whose promotional video (see youtube) heralds the coming of a ‘New East End’.

If the memory of the East End is intended to be shortened, if not removed, let’s transmit and broadcast its contents while it still has life. Starting from an interrogation of the local context of the East End, the East End Transmissions project is built as a platform which aims to stretch and stress the interpretations of this context, amplify opinions, engage ideas and provoke discussion about history, gentrification and regeneration in the area. Through its different constituent parts (exhibition, program of events, documentation, website, posters, and publication), East End Transmissions aims to produce critical content and reveal the secondary stories too often dismissed and omitted from the records. Each part of the project intends to develop further the topics from different points of view.The exhibition runs between November and December 2014 at The Pipe Factory, Glasgow, and features artists Aideen Doran, Virginia Hutchison, Thomas Leyland Collins, Kit Mead, Douglas Morland, Janie Nicoll, Lyndsey Smith, Susannah Stark, graphic designer Jen Devonshire, and stories from the community. Its aim is to transmit and react to (personal) stories and events, freeze present realities, and anticipate (sci-fi) scenarios. It is documented by books and prints, available for consultation, drawing on literature, poetry, theatre, social and urban studies, etc. A program of events extends the debate through a series of screenings and lectures, as well as artistic performances. The online platform runs as a parallel project to the exhibition, revealing artists’ researches and giving voice to the community, always open to new content and contributions. In addition a publication will be produced over the course of the exhibition, as a critical tool resuming, documenting and expanding on the different debates raised during the exhibition and events.

[1] The University of Glasgow which was originally located near High Street station before its conspicuous move to the West End.


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