The ‘Salon de Refuse Olympique’ came about through an imperative to gather together creative responses to the Olympic development and in turn led to the production of this book.
Since 2007 events from film screenings onto the Olympic blue fence to gallery debates have brought together much of the work and ideas now present in the book. During the book’s production five salons were organized for contributors to meet, exchange and debate many of the central issues discussed throughout The Art of Dissent: Adventures in London’s Olympic State. See the events page for a continuation of this ethos and practice.
Hackney Wick (Un)Regulated
30th September 2011. Electric Matchbox. Hackney Wick.
Hackney Wick is a place transformed by the Olympics. What was described as an unregulated landscape has been transformed by the Olympics into one of the most highly regulated landscapes possible. The changing characters of Hackney Wick have inspired the work of many artists, curators and commissioners. Hackney Wick un-regulated invited a selected number of practitioners who have worked with Hackney Wick across this phase of transformation to critically examine changes in motivation, praxis and outlook.
Led by Andreas Lang of public works and Wick Curiosity Shop.
With: Rowan Durrant, Colin Priest, Anna Harding of [space], Benjamin Sebastian of ]performance space[, Joanna Hughes of Mother Studios, Mimi Mollica.
Read the salon essay by Francesca Weber-Newth: “Hackney Wick (Un)regulated”
Imagining the Olympics
1st October 2011. View Tube.
This salon discussion brings together an eclectic body of photographers who have been producing work featuring the spaces of the future Olympic Park. These photographers debate their own and each others’work in relation to the official imaging of the site. The overall aim will be to consider the agency of photographic images in urban change, considering photographs as documents, provocations and representations of sites in transition. The salon is inspired by extends and feeds into the collaborative project ‘Picturing Place’ an interdisciplinary research project which critically explores the role of images and image-production in processes of urban change.
Read the salon essay by Ben Campkin: “Photographing the Olympic Park”
1st October 2012. View Tube.
Examining the tension between inside and outside both in terms of officially commissioned projects and those (of which the book is primarily made up of) operating outside of this framework and between the park site and its hinterlands through an idea of the ‘fringe’ and infringements both culturally and physically.
Led by Anna Hart who leads AIR, a research, teaching and commissioning studio at Central Saint Martins which explores a durational relationship between artist and site.
Read the salon essay by Sophie Hope: “Embarrasing positions: Being Inside-Outside the Olympic Park”
1st October 2011. View Tube.
The very word ‘legacy’ is perhaps the most discussed and doubted area of Olympic project. This discussion bringing together various projects within the book that question and examine the idea of legacy from analysis and speculation to visionary dystopias and alternative propositions.
Read the salon essay by Tim Black: “Legacy visions”
2nd October 2011. See Studio.
The Olympic event rests on the production of a clean, blank space, shielded from the city, its history and the possibility of dissensus. This absolute space is, in the case of London 2012, protected by military-grade security –including an electrified fence and intensive CCTV surveillance. This salon brings together artists who have
challenged, and even penetrated, this space of reinforced consensus. Their work, making use of a wide array of tactics, confronts the attempt to regulate what can be seen, said, or thought brought about by the mega-event.
Convened by Anna Minton, journalist, writer and author of Ground Control: Fear and Happiness in the 21st Century City (2009, Penguin, London)
Read the salon essay by Isaac Marrero-Guillamón: “Military urbanism, Surveillance, and the Privatisation of Public Space”