Initial thoughts on potential sites along the London Slice line – Visited 7th May 2011 – Steve Rosenthal

May 9, 2011

Responding to Sundays sun-soaked walk along the London Slice-line I’m now in possession of a handful of potential sites that will certainly need further investigation, and which could act as possible starting points towards making of a new piece of work.

The first site is the ‘brash’ multi-storey car-park, owned by the Corporation of London, which spans between Crispin Street and Commercial Street. The slice line runs diagonally through the car-parks entire length – so could become a vast ‘canvas’ for a large piece of work running the length of the utilitarian concrete structure. I spoke briefly with the on duty car-park attendant to ascertain if it’s possible to access the top floor area and he assured me that it is. I’ll now need to re-visit the site when time is not so rushed to discover what potential the roof top holds; then contacting landlords might be in order to negotiate what could be possible there…

The second possibility is at the site of a home-printed ‘Stolen’ notice, taped to the railings, at the junction of  Henage Street and Spelman Street. Attracted to the surreal logistics of stealing an orange metal staircase, the disabled woman potentially trapped in her home without it, and whether it has, as requested, been returned  or any reward given… Perhaps my dialing the mobile number might throw some light on the event or lead on to somewhere interesting…

My third site is the electrical light-box estate plan located within the Chicksand Housing Estate (that runs along Hanbury Street towards Valance Road). Drawn to both the utilitarian nature of the object and the abstract hand-painted yellow rectangles, depicting the 4 various housing blocks, offset by the circular sticker residue – I may re-visit this site at night to see if the sign actually illuminates – and if so how that might change the objects dynamic.

My fourth site (and possibly the most immediately resonant) is the ‘I Love U, I Love U, I Love U’ tree, located by the north eastern exit of the small laid-to-grass ‘Vallance Gardens’ park (east of Vallance Road and north of Wodeham Gardens). The simple poetic shrine of affectionate declaration could certainly lead on towards something worth pursuing – being simultaneously specifically local and yet eternally universal…

The final site is not illustrated here. Situated at the tail-end of the slice, heading east beyond the parameters of our slice-line, the work could become a directional street-furniture signpost, pointing towards ‘Wonderland’ (the now long-gone Yiddish theatre, with a colourful history of varied amusement, located around the corner from the end of the slice-line on Whitechapel Road). Considering the number of artists engaged with the project that have had or continue to have a performative background, plus the notion of pointing off, somewhere not seen, beyond the confines of the slice-line toward a place of potential fantasy might yet prove both a starting point for some new work and a fitting end to the slices trajectory… Over the next month my research will be centered around the above locations yet may extend further onto other sites following return visits to the slice-line.

Engaging briefly with the artists assembled on Sunday, such a diversely interesting and eclectic bunch, with widely varying individual practices, will undoubtedly make for a stimulating dynamic to the heart of project. And that a Skype connection with Lahore was eventually achieved, enabling our two very distinct worlds to briefly collide was a pleasing end to the day. I’m looking forward to viewing on-line the initial ideas generated in Pakistan to discover whether any unforced cross-continental collaborations might potentially emerge…

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