The Crossing Lines Group March meetup

Barry Cole opened the session as follows: “I have been photographing and videoing the changes to the Elephant 1 site, the development replacing the Aylesbury Estate, over the past couple of years mainly from Platform 4 of the station. The period covers a lot of the demolition process, the ground clearance and preparation and the new building work.” It was a fine [on-going] set that Barry delivered. Part of the following discussion acknowledged that many of us in The Crossing Lines Group have ’embedded’ ourselves in sites of building ‘replacements’ and it can easily morph into a photographic seduction of size, shape, material, location & leave the motion of social remains to textual means.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Allan Grainger’s was the first of three presentations during the evening of work introduced [or created] at the recent Lisbon Symposium on Memory, Place, Photography.

Allan introduced his work thus: “The depiction of the Psychogeographical encounter and the way in which memory relates to place, and the methodology required to depict a Psychogeographical engagement will form the basis of this talk. The tableau form is a framework on which to hang the Psychogeographical encounter and to illustrate this approach several examples from two ongoing bodies of work entitled ‘In This Place’ and ‘London Tableaux’.”

Allan’s work is meticulous in its photographic references and its historical contexts. He is also fortunate in that crowds seem to melt away leaving just the appropriate number in crucial positions for the tableau.

The Effect of Time on the Edifice of Society

 

Carlo Novoto

Carlo presented work from an excursion to Cova do Vapor. Stefano Carnelli, who led the walk, described it as: This small community is an illegal settlement located on the estuary of the Tejo river. Entirely self-built by its residents on a conflictive and marginal territory, Cova do Vapor arises as a paradigmatic example of an “un-planned” city struggling against the effects of Globalisation.

We respected the situation of the community and some of us were thrown into a self-observation of how to modify/reflect upon our individual modes of walking through new urban space. Carlo’s presentation acknowledged the ‘edge’ status of the settlement and its historical context of being a location of imprisonment, torture and killings during the fascist years of the Salazar régime.

It has been described as ‘a relic of exception’.

Carlo Navato

 

John Levett

… also took the walk and began the gathering of images that accompany the arrival upon fresh territory.

John wakes each morning and utters the mantra: If you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep on getting what you’ve always got.

After one hundred metres of gathering pretty walls it dawned on him that had Walter Benjamin’s frame and psyche held out he too might have made landfall in Cova do Vapor, walked its streets, looked for hours at the estuary of the Tagus, walked back.

Walking, head down and snapping the road seemed a proper memorial to Benjaminian dawdling.

Cova small

John Levett

who also wrote this brief report.

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