Situationism in the landscape: Psychogeography, Constructions and Revised Visions outre-manche
The largest city in Europe after Moscow, London offers an artistic voyage which is as charged with experiences both rich and disparate. With my own sense of "home" spread out over thirty years in the US and nine years in France and travels through Asian and Europe, my two academic years at UAL Wimbledon from 2014 to 2016 have offered me with the rare opportunity to explore and discover the arts in a city which is both a vital global economic hub and a hotbed for the arts in Europe.
In travelling from one part of London to the next, one discovers cultural highlights in highly charged parcels. There is of course the Grandeur and Beauty of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, Museum Row with the V&A, The National Gallery and the Serpentine and the area around South Kensington where the French Embassy is located - a necessary stopping point for me since I am a French citizen and had to have my passport renewed upon arrival. There is magic in these places, so far my former home in the US (another life it might even seem), one that suggestions that memory is indeed transmutable. This might be defined as "The Exploded Macroscopic Memory of Place, Space and Time." I found this at the V&A where Chihully's work is featured, the same man who was such an inspiration for me when I was studying crafts in San Diego and who I met on more than one occasion in Little Italy and while working at the David Zapf Gallery back in 1999.
There is also a sacred tryst that one forges with memory/historically-rich urban environments that are as studded and intersperesed with nature as London-especially as one goes towards nature and into other counties of the UK. The invitation to design site-responsive art in and around the Isle of Dogs at Canary Wharf gave me the rare sense that such an exodus might not be in vain (for what cause or sacrifice could be more selfless and courageous than making art in a new place?) Some of these drawings are shown below. Living in Wimbledon for the past year has been an experience in itself, From the the malls and roundabouts of suburban Croydon which remind me in every way of suburbs of Orange County, California to the beauty of Richmond on Thames which ironically enough, reminds of the watersways that meander between the foothills of Diablo County with it's own respective Richmond Town in San Francisco's East Bay or Contra Costa.