Tracing Resilience at the V&A

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On 12 June 2015 some of us from the CCW Tracing group will visit the V&A to 'trace' on site and in response to an aspect of this Belongs to You' - 1 April – 19 July 2015.

At a time when Britain will be engaged in the democratic process of an election, the V&A will examine the role of public institutions in contemporary life and what it means to be responsible for a national collection. A series of specially commissioned interventions around the Museum will raise questions about the opportunities, obligations and limits to participation in this national institution. The exhibition will act as a laboratory for public life and explore the role of design and architecture in defining civic identity, technology, security, citizenship, democracy, the public realm and urban experience.

So that's one institutional context for this session. More specifically, we'll sit at the tables featured muf's 'More than one (fragile) thing at a time'. Here's what the V&A says about the commission:

London-based practice muf architecture’s project titled More than one (fragile) thing at a time takes place within the Medieval and Renaissance galleries. This area of the Museum was originally designed as an archetypal public space, with daylight, sculptures of standing figures, and a fountain. muf’s installation will host a series of activities, all provoked by the existing contents of the gallery and the afterlife of the places those objects came from.


Here's muf's take on the project:

‘An analogy exists between political policy and life as it is lived, and the simplification of meaning when objects are removed from their contexts of use.’ – muf
The objects in this gallery are taken from the buildings, squares and gardens of medieval and renaissance Europe. While life continues in the places of their origin, in the museum these sculptures remain untouched by the vagaries of weather, conflict and the everyday.
For this commission, muf architecture/art extend an invitation to inhabit this space differently through furniture and small adjustments to the existing gallery arrangement. They have also created a series of ‘after-files’ which document what has happened to the places where three of the sculptures in this room first stood. By bringing this contemporary context to the gallery muf enhance our relationship with the historic objects and with this rich and idealised public space. They describe this as ‘reverse restitution’.
muf have worked in collaboration with Women for Refugee Women, London, Villa Bracci, Florence, and the Arciconfraternita di San Cristoforo e della Misericordia, Venice, to realise this commission.

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What we'll do: Look at the exhibition and mediate on issues/ideas/objects/situations, etc. featured here that might inform our work together on mapping sites of (resistance to) climate change in London and beyond. So using this institutional (dis)placement--UAL >< V&A--as a lens, we'll discuss what our group has done so far as a way to think about the future. It was an exciting year: our tracing sessions at Chelsea, micro investigations in Geneva (including Karel's film), 'Big London Map' session at LCC...new collaborations and opporutnities fizzing up all over the place, including Karel's walk and CCW's The Year of Resilience.

Marsha can feedback a few thoughts about the Anthropocene Atlas of London that were discussed in a recent meeting with Neil and David. As some Tracers won't be able to attend (including the latter), it would be good to distill our reflections (perhaps via tracings) that we could share next time? It would also be good to discuss if you the Tracers will have a stall at the #TransActing.
Please bring stuff to trace with: paper, pens, etc.
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