Demolitions: A Progress Report

When Rich Mix in Bethnal Green gave the Demolition Project a slot in their Small Story/Big City performance strand it seemed like the ideal opportunity to review the project so far. Here’s a little piece about what we did for anyone who missed it…

 

When Rich Mix in Bethnal Green gave the Demolition Project a slot in their Small Story/Big City performance strand it seemed like the ideal opportunity to review the project so far. The date, 30 May, was almost exactly a year after we started the project and participants had made about 160 demolitions of all sorts of buildings, streets and areas in London. Here’s a little piece about what we did for anyone who missed it.

Demolitions: A Progress Report was a way for us to sum up the past year’s work on the project, using the participants’ own words to describe the demolitions they made and their reasons, illustrated with images (photos and video) of the maps, the demolition sessions and the “real” streets of London.

To compile the report, we started by collecting together all the reasons people had used to explain their demolitions of London over the past year.

We grouped them together into categories, then selected which ones we wanted to highlight as examples. Alisa photographed them all and took pictures of the holes that their destruction had left in the map. We went round taking more photos, of the sites we were planning to discuss and made some videos.

From all this, Debbie wrote a script and Alisa put together a slideshow, structured around nine demolitions but including lots more along the way and explaining the background to the project. What emerged was a story of our collective destruction of London. And we combined and consolidated a year’s worth of demolitions, cutting all the holes out of one map so we could show everyone the extent of the devastation. We unfolded this at the end and stuck it on the wall so that the audience could become participants by adding their own demolitions.

Feedback was very positive – but some people wanted more stories and more participation, so that’s definitely something to bear in mind the next time we do it.

 

Two maps

The Demolition Project began just over a year ago with a demolition session in ]performance space[, Hackney Wick.

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These were some of the first demolitions carried out by participants, making a map of words and a map of holes … Tomorrow we mark a year of demolishing London with the launch of our progress report at Rich Mix in Bethnal Green.

Where next for the Demolition Project? Watch this blog…

sites we like

Personal, detailed and highly enjoyable accounts of guided tours offering a subtle critique of an aspect of the tourist industry via an enthusiastic engagement with it.

The Tour of All Tours is a blog by performance artist Bill Aitchison, described as:

A creative review of guided tours worldwide and thinkpad for art and tour projects more generally.

This seems to have started as a diary of Bill’s work of the same name in Stuttgart last year, but a lot of the posts are personal, detailed and highly enjoyable accounts of guided tours he has taken, with lots of photos, offering a subtle critique of an aspect of the tourist industry via an enthusiastic engagement with it. The latest posts are about tours around the area of Shoreditch, east London, as research for a site-sensitive performance of the Tour of All Tours he is giving at Rich Mix in July. Easy to spend hours wandering round this absorbing blog and we’re looking forward to taking Bill’s Tour …

Tour of All Tours

Bill Aitchison Company

Picture by Bill Aitchison, from the Alternative Tour around east London