Section under Construction
Rather than a stable structure, Arboreal Heights is an amorphous cluster of diffracted sounds, images
and texts revolving around the Elephant+Castle
A tale of social abandonment exploring the position of the female body in the context of a nascent urban modernity. A lifelong Elephant+Castle female resident drifts between the shopping centre and the illuminated power substation on the traffic island. Her body, redundant and invisible to all, is scandalous and out of place in a regenerated part of an increasingly homogeneous London with the cool, luxurious Arboreal Heights celebrated as its most spectacular incarnation.
area of London which, because of waves of destruction
and reconstruction, its sheer transience and incompleteness, has been marked by a fractured identity.
Three randomly formed 'continuums' attempt to capture the transient articulations of lives, memories of
lost loves
A tale of erotic abandonment revolving around the site of the old Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens and charting the re-enactment of two male lovers' mythical journey through a largely unexplored South London via the the Elephant+Castle double roundabout. All men merge into the original lover found dead on the Thames riverbank in 1973, and whose flamboyance, mysterious persona and multiple identities heralded a playfully queer reappropriation and subversion of urban space.
and historical processes at play on this contested site through dérives in inner/outer space.
In its postwar, defiantly modern incarnation the Elephant came close to solar perfection, before its abrupt
descent into a discredited urban dystopia. The shopping centre is where all the banlieues of the world
A tale of mother/land abandonment dealing with the disappearance of childhood's certainties, from Kaliningrad, cut off from the Russian homeland, to the Paris suburbs, crippled by spatial segregation and institutional violence, a trajectory intercut with evocations of shantitowns and riverside encounters. The Elephant shopping centre is then revisited as the devastated shell of the absent mother's world, emptied of all residual humanity, the terminal destination of innumerable displacements.
collide, its labyrinthine network of concourses and arcades resounding with voices and stories of exiles.
It is a place of instability and dislocation where clearly defined identities dissolve, as grand architectural
gestures re-enact the forever delayed departure into the cosmos, the crystalline harmony of the new
A London catastrophe - or a city comprehensively bringing to light its zones of uncertainty in the fury and stridency of its reshaping by the forces of transcendental capitalism. The financial exclusion of an ever greater part of the population, the terminal commodification of urban space, the all-pervasive surveillance and shrinkage of the public domain lead to its homogenisation and historical depletion to turn it into a shallow, spectacular double of itself stuck in a perpetual present.
embodied in Arboreal Heights' malls and lush hanging gardens. A Ballardian disaster foretold.
This site contains material generally considered adult-orientated and sexually explicit. If you are offended by topics such as male homosexuality or
are not legally entitled to view or read such material, do not enter!
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