Film and Video Umbrella presents Changing Places, a series of exhibitions staging contemporary artists’ moving image within ten historic buildings across the country. At the core of the project lies the narrative of industrialisation and its global legacy: a mode of production that has altered landscapes, choreographed migration, created monumental buildings and shaped social attitudes. Through the pairing of specific sites and artworks, Changing Places bridges the chronological and geographical gaps between the industrialisation currently occurring across South Asia, and the places in Britain where the blueprint began.
In collaboration with several tour partners, including the Canal & River Trust and National Trust, ten buildings have been invited to host artworks that resonate with their locations. Each site has been curated to place local histories within an international context, underlining globally intertwined stories of places and people. The majority of the locations selected are non-gallery spaces. In some instances, the presence of Changing Places will open rarely seen interiors to the public, or bring a fresh perspective to buildings that have recently undergone or are currently under renovation. The tour launches at The House Mill, London Borough of Newham, on 7 July, with a newly commissioned installation piece and four video works throughout the Grade 1 listed 18th century tidal mill. Specially arranged guided tours will lead visitors through narrow passageways to a hidden work on the upper floor. A guided tour schedule is available here.
The national tour featurs six artists: Bani Abidi, Ravi Agarwal, Imran Channa, Omar Chowdhury, Desire Machine Collective and Yasmin Jahan Nupur. All live in, work in, or retain a connection to Bangladesh, India or Pakistan. Presented in 2017, during the 70th anniversary of Indian independence, these artists’ works cover a range of perspectives and situations, from international migration and border-transcending environmental impacts, to the individual who navigates and responds to shifting social and economic circumstances.
The title, Changing Places, reminds us that places are constantly on the move, regularly being transformed, re-inhabited or reinvented as places of work or leisure. The pairing of buildings with the artworks they are exhibiting reveals how historic movements continue to reverberate in the present, illuminating the universal upheavals associated with modernity and ‘progress’, and reminding us that change is the only constant.