In Certain Places online: Watch six videos of talks from the Monument and the Changing City symposium on 2nd March 2011 – Prof. Paul Gough, Prof. Lubaina Himid, Dr. Alan Rice, Charles Quick, Dr. Jonathan Vickery and Prof. Chris Meigh-Andrews.
In European cities memory and identity are inextricably linked through the ordering and naming of spaces and the placing of monuments, memorials and other icons of rhetorical topography. In our over-furnished urban centres real and false memory is incised into the city wherever we look, sometimes as an act of genuine national solidarity, sometimes to underwrite a concocted or contrived civic narrative, at other times as an apparent affirmation of local identity.
However, that which is designed to provide a locus of ‘inclusion’ also equally proclaims exclusion; power (as Foucault argued) creates its own points of resistance. Our cities are wrought by political and territorial dispute; the statues, inscriptions, street signs, commemorative plaques and memorials rarely located without complex negotiation, even open dispute because the rivalries for mnemonic space is nearly always fierce and dramatic with political tensions played out vicariously through the siting of civic markers that espouse esteem and status.
In Certain Places is a programme of temporary public artworks and events which examines the role of artists in the city, particularly within the context of urban regeneration in Preston, Lancashire. The scheme, which was initiated in 2003, is a partnership between the Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Preston, and the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). Over the last seven years, In Certain Places has worked with regional, national and international artists to develop temporary public artworks for the city, hosted artist residencies in empty shops, and organised a series of free public talks about art, place and the city, which are free to download as podcasts from this site. In Certain Places is run by curators Charles Quick and Elaine Speight, with curatorial support from Lubaina Himid MBE.
Image: Jeppe Hein. Appearing Rooms. Flag Market, Preston City centre, 2006.