Look11: St George’s Hall – Excavating Utopia

utopia-100LOOK2011-logo Excavating Utopia: The study of Park Road at St George’s Hall. 14 May – 26 June 2011. As part of Look 2011 Liverpool International Photography Festival, a group of photographers from around the UK, working with John Darwell, facilitated by Redeye Lightbox have produced a collaborative project for exhibition as part of the festival.

Perhaps now isn’t the time to be discussing utopias – or perhaps the subject, as society fragments under social and economic change, has never been more relevant. Excavating Utopia is a collaborative photographic study bringing together the work of ten UK artists which studies modern urban life, and dissects the impressions left by people amid the constructions that people make their homes.

The Artists Studio of Liverpool’s celebrated St George’s Hall is transformed into a domestic space where the exihbition Excavating Utopia takes Park Road as its starting point, but not a geographically located road. Instead Park Road, one of the most popular street names in the UK stands as a fictional ‘every-street’ and the exhibition an archive of imaginary lives in an imaginary district. Its cumulative effect is not only to offer a snap shot of modern life, but also to question the reliability of the notion of truth in photography.

The photographers have brought their unique viewpoints to the project, exploring issues around identity, the ephemeral, individuality, surveillance, community, imagination and politics to explore modern notions of development and city planning.
Geoff Crossley’s close facial portraits explore ideas of individuality within normal, everyday routines. Through sparse, domestic spaces, Graeme Vaughan and Katia Porter invite you to enter the private worlds of representation and imagination while the photography of Sharon Mutch explores lives lived behind closed doors.

Artists contributing further work are Joanna Zylinska, Leila Romaya, Paul McCann, Rosie Hallam, Frank Balaam and Kirsteen Ashton.
John Darwell said – ‘a fascinating and powerful body of new work. I have no doubt Excavating Utopia will be one of the many highlights to be produced for Look 11 and I was (and am) proud to be a part of this groups success.’




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