Gasworks has invited Brazilian artist Renata Lucas to respond to the building and its relationship to the local setting. Using the residency period as a basis for research and development, the resulting project creates a double continuity: one between Gasworks and the neighbouring boundary wall in Vauxhall Street; the other creating a crossover between inside and outside space.
The starting point in Lucas’ practice is an analysis of the commissioned site, often observing the social information embedded within buildings and particularly, their boundaries. From this detailed observation of her surroundings, she looks to identify characteristics that are out of sight or have been taken for granted. The resulting gesture tends to undo the prevailing rhetoric of this public building.
In a street lined on one side by a uniform brick wall, Lucas’ intervention at Gasworks creates a softer deviation, subtly altering the passer-by’s journey. In simplifying the exterior of the building, Lucas’ intervention causes Gasworks’ façade to recede into a less distinct identity; becoming a membrane through which elements of the interior, paradoxically, appear. This intervention acknowledges the episodic nature of a building whose historical shift in use from Victorian warehouse to art space is common throughout London.
Previous examples of Lucas’ works include Comum de dois (2002) at Centro de arte mariantonia, São Paulo, which built a single room over the boundaries of two existing rooms. Here Lucas reacted to the labyrinth-like quality of the Centre and its relationship to her work, of being contained and containing. For Atlas (2006) in São Paulo, Lucas responded in literal fashion to a boundary dispute concerning Galeria Antonio Millan and its neighbour. By extending the neighbour’s fencing into the gallery on one side, and creating a parking space and a public walkway on the other, she redesigned how the space was negotiated by its visitors and passers-by.
Wednesday 14 November, 6pm
Renata Lucas in conversation with Tom Morton, critic and curator.
Saturday 1 December and Saturday 8 December, 12 – 1pm
Local historian Sean Creighton will be accompanied by Renata Lucas to lead guided tours of the local area from Gasworks, highlighting architectural histories and curiosities.
No booking necessary.