Monday 2 December 1996 to Sunday 22 December 1996
Quarterlight, The Workstation, Paternoster Row, Sheffield, S1 4SP
Ground Plans for Paradise conjures a vast imaginary city using model buildings, street indexes and photography. The project draws on the reality of city life and on the utopian dreams which urban spaces can inspire. Using 1,000 balsa wood tower blocks each lit from inside, it creates an abandoned Metropolis which viewers are asked to fill: imagining the lives, people and stories that might belong there. This deserted space-inhabited, or dreamed perhaps by the sleeping figures in Hugo Glendinnings’ photographs which surround the models-features the names of places and of streets from both real and fantastic cities.
Forced Entertainment is based in Sheffield and in the last ten years has become internationally respected for its brash performance vision that mixes high and low tech, bitterness and poetry. The group is continually involved with cross disciplinary practice; moving from performance towards installation, site specific, works for radio and television broadcast. Hugo Glendinning is an arts photographer who has documented and collaborated of contemporary arts and performance practitioners — from Cornelia Parker and Anne Griffin to Mark Wallinger and Nigel Charnock. Glendinning has worked closely with the company since 1986, creating photographs and documenting performances. their previous installation collaboration, Red Room broke attendance records at The Showroom Gallery, London featured on the cover of Academy Editions recent Art and Design issue, Performance Art.
Ground Plans for Paradise concerns itself with the relationship between the real and the imaginary-with the ‘fantastic’ space of a huge model city which nonetheless points us back, in numerous ways, to the ‘real’ cities in which we live day by day. Its girded photographs of sleeping figures evoke both the state of dreaming and an angelic unworldliness-a human experience that is both ordinary and extraordinary. What to make, in this jumbled, evocative city, for example, of a building named after Mellor and De Sanchez, or of a street called New Coronation Street? What kinds of lives might be lead in The Suicide Building, what kind of exhibitions might be held in The Museum of Love and Drunkenness, and what kind of crowds may gather on Esperanto Place?
Ground Plans for Paradise was originally commissioned by Leeds Metropolitan University Gallery & Studio Theatre.