A Timely Place, Or, Getting Back to Somewhere
13th July to 22nd September 2001
London Print Studio Gallery, 425 Harrow Road, London, W10 4RE
A Timely Place, Or, Getting Back to Somewhere was an exploration of the role of place and mobility in everyday life. It brought together a group of international artists that explore time and place through print and text-based artworks. The londonprintstudio Gallery became a contemplative, reading or interpretative space, for a reflection on place and time. With each of the works in this exhibition, particular times or/and places acted as starting points to reflect back on the past, from the location of a place and time in the present – whilst calling into question the significance of this dialogical relationship.
A Timely Place, Or, Getting Back to Somewhere embraces the act of looking backward as a radical manifesto for our times. If place were to be separated from time, what would it be like to live out the future in some present time, and view those future times as something which has already happened? What would it be like to live out the multitudes of those utopian dreams in the present, and not in some far-off future world?
Time and place are constantly unravelling in some spatial narrative. Like that of any other physical journey, there is a fluctuating movement through space and time. The history of place and time is a travel story; a spatial practice. It is a narrative which is continually changing, moving, mobile. As any spatial narrative crosses over and organises places over time, a place is also constituted by the writing of its own narrative. It is given its co-ordinates in time.
With this timeliness in mind, it is worth considering that the mobile aspects of these spatial journeys prevent us from perceiving our mobile world as a place. Even though we may try to fill our gaps of understanding with comprehensive and detailed information out of guidebooks, maps or journey narratives, we are never being fully present in any place. While we attempt to grasp the whereabouts of the interstitial spaces of any journey, it only emphasises the degree to which places are temporary and constantly in flux.
So, Lets get ourselves lost!
When the world in which we live, in one that is premised on speed, mobility and spatio-temporal compression, there is an ever increasing production of social spaces which allow for this transience. These are what Marc Augé has called non-places; transitional places like airports, motels, shopping centres, supermarkets, roadside service stations, theme parks. These are places that are frequented within everyday life, but only to move through and to pass-by. Their geographical whereabouts is simultaneously and at any one time, both Everywhere and Nowhere in particular.
With the infinite possibilities of imaginative and metaphysical journeys in everyday life, we are destined for both nowhere and everywhere at the same time. It could be worth considering that a critical, cultural practice of “Getting Back to Somewhere” might even result in a final arrival and Somewhere that has yet to be located in time. Adapted from the press release.