artists & participants

press release

‘We wanted to create theoretical structures that were avant-garde (new programs with light, mobile and dismountable structures…) and at the same time sustain social interaction’. By the mid 70s, the high rise tower blocks of the previous decade were generally perceived to have failed in fulfilling their earlier expectations, and planners were now mooting the idea of low rise cluster developments, which would provide village-like units that would promote a better sense of community. Some of the ideas central to this exhibition will encompass some of the sentiments of 70s idealism, but will also project the reality of human intervention.

‘In the beginning of the world’ there is congestion and dislocation of cities, a monotonous suburban sprawl and a bleakness of high rise housing developments. This exhibition plays with a varied spectrum of possible architectural and social shapes, but the concrete results of the design depends upon the inhabitants and their needs. Whether responsible for or assimilated to this dispirited progress, radical modernism has certainly lost its way.

This ambitious project forms a collaborative spirit amongst each of the artists and the audience itself. It will address social interventionism, by creating, furniture, décor, proposals, dwellings and event. Within this experiment, ideas are taken from a dystopian perspective to create familiar models of social behaviour. In order for the viewer to become engaged, there will be a need for them to participate. Whilst entering the gallery the visitor is thrust into the midst of a fictional habitat created by Rob Voerman’s carefully constructed make shift structure to form a tunnel which leads into a secret shack. The dwelling will house a bar, serving homemade liquor. The audience through a steamy scratched window from the gallery itself will view this activity. Social revolution will be enhanced by the subversive nature of the dwelling and its inhabitants. Dave Hemmings’ proposal; a model of primeval man. His work is part of a realist sculpture series, documenting timeless primitive shelters, which are still used in today’s third world .His work addresses ‘survivalism’ at its roots and at its most economic and primary form. Muritu’s contribution will be Modernist décor thwarted by an attempt to replicate a burnt out tree trunk. It will also form a seating area to contemplate and study Hemmings’ model, Romantic contemplation about the inevitable irreversibility of human aspiration. Gavin Wade and Dylan Shipton, are both artists who will respond to the building, to address the site and negotiating problems within it. Shipton creates room-scale installations, using a combination of industrial duct tape. They form labyrinths and barriers within a space. Wade will intervene by offering solutions for aspirational models. Behind a glass screen separated from the space itself will house the original ‘Smithsons’ architectural model of the notorious sprawling 60s housing estate, ‘Robin Hoods Garden.

These artists have been selected for their intervention with the audience and the sites they occupy.

Rob Voerman is a guest artist from The Netherlands and is kindly supported by Fonds BKB He was a 3 month artist in residence at Delphina Project Space in 2002 and will have a solo exhibition in ‘UCLA Hammer Museum’, Los Angeles opening July 7th – October 17th this year.

Cell Project Space refurbishments have been supported by The Arts Council Of England and Latham & Watkins


the beginning of the world
Gavin Wade, Rob Voerman, David Hemmings, Milika Muritu, Dylan Shipton