How To Talk To Buildings, Clip 1: White Cube Gallery

How To Talk To Buildings, Clip 2: Anlaby Road

Video, 2006

How To Talk To Buildings is a project for ARC in Hull that took place during Architecture Week, June 16th – 25th 2006.

The work aims to turn the tables on the relationship between architecture and the ordinary citizen: instead of being subject to the secret codes of architectural design, the citizen addresses buildings in terms of personal memories, local knowledge and the routines that surround them.

In order to achieve this, a small group of local participants were led by Freee in a day of workshops that attempted to empower each individual participant to develop their own short script that responded to buildings or places in Hull. The workshop, which will included contributions from a local historian endeavored explore our relationship to the built environment and the functions of both public and private architecture within our everyday life. The point, therefore, was not for the participants to become experts in architecture but to bring the architecture back into the daily experiences of ordinary people.

Having spent the day developing and refining their ideas to produce individual ten–minute scripts, members of the group then stood in front of buildings, public statues, and local landmarks and read their script aloud – talking to buildings. These short monologues were recorded on video and presented in the ARC building. The video documents a charged encounter between local people and the buildings that stand out for them in their locale.

How To Talk To Buildings, video still (Ted Jordan, White Cube Gallery) How To Talk To Buildings, video still (Ted Jordan, Hoxton Square)

How To Talk To Buildings was commissioned by Gillian Dyson for Architecture Week and the official opening of the ARC building.

The work has been developed with new footage from places and buildings in and around Hoxton Square. The result is an ongoing series of videos showing individuals stood in front of buildings with voiceovers that tell hidden histories. The most recent edit was shown as part of Mark McGowan’s Festival – Week 1 curated by Dave Beech, Space Station Sixty-Five, 65 North Cross Road London, 14 – 21 July, 2006.

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