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Gasworks Open Studio, 2007

Gasworks Open Studio, 2007

Documentation of performance at Kennington Park Estate's Community Centre

Documentation of performance at Kennington Park Estate's Community Centre

Through project based work, Erika Arzt and Juan Linares work collaboratively and responsively, exploring the inclusion of communities in the development of their projects, which in turn take the form of temporal spaces and site specific works. Affected by their own respective experiences of existing in international flux, the artists work to consult local interests and concerns in the development of their projects, offering up authorship and direct decision making to dialogue and communication.

With this approach, Arzt and Linares position themselves as neither inside or outside the work which manifests itself across numerous media and often in a documentary form detaching an involved subjectivity. In each project the artists themselves become as much a part of their project as the people they work with and the results become significantly spontaneous and involved on a local scale. The unpredictable outcomes of their projects demonstrate how open systems can gather form and momentum through collective activity and yet can inadvertently address more complex social and political notions of community living.

In But how shall that work not to think of anything? 2007 Arzt and Linares worked in Cali, Columbia to develop a project that offered some common ground within a community represented in the media as divided by conflict and violence. Through processes of negotiation and orientation, Arzt and Linares worked with members of the local community to construct a giant, transparent beach ball, resulting with an intervention in which the ball was to be rolled down a hill through the city.

In Nucli Antic, 2005 - 6, Arzt and Linares developed a project reflecting on the implication of urban growth and development on Calaf, a small village outside of Barcelona, which was to undergo regeneration as a result of long term neglect and marginalisation. While the official restoration programme looked at the redevelopment of public buildings such as the City Hall, Arzt and Linares borrowed plans and colour schemes and carried out the restoration of individuals' homes, focusing on those who were unlikely to see any direct benefit of the City's regeneration programme. While intending to address the limits of the impact restoration can have on the daily lives of citizens, Arzt and Linares' encounters led not only to a series of interventions, but to unfolding discussions that fed back into the community in the form of a publication.

Arzt and Linares were invited as part of the first residency collaboration between Gasworks and TrAIN, the Research Centre for Transnational Art, Identity and Nation. Their residency saw them based both in the studio environment at Gasworks and contributing to the academic and research environment of the University of the Arts, which will inform and support the development of their project in London.

Open Studio and Offsite Performance

Open Studio preview: Thursday 6 December, 6-8pm

Offsite Performance: Saturday 8 December, 1.30 - 2.30pm at Kennington Park Estate Community Centre, 8 Harleyford Street, London, SE11 5SY

Open studio at Gasworks: Friday 7 - Sunday 9 December, 12 - 6pm