‘The World Lived Here: L8’ responds to residents’ thoughts, memories, experiences of Liverpool 8 (Toxteth). Identities of ‘cultural memory’ explored via popular media forms, including postcards and radio-plays, as narrative devices. Aim: to conduct research, create new links, develop ways to (re)present image/sound-based works; explore collaborative photography, text and audio-visual methods to examine stereotypes of local identities. Outputs connect with ‘here and now’: events, locations; people reflecting on recollections of the past. One recurring theme being, ’how places feel’ (genius loci) and a research question, approaching historical memory to ask: How does the presentation of the past shape the image of the present? Commissioned for Culture Shifts, Open Eye Gallery’s, socially engaged photography programme, embedding photographers within communities across Liverpool City Region; facilitating sharing of personal stories in ways meaningful to groups. Programme impact measured through cross-disciplinary collaboration with partner organisations, including online digital platform, ‘PhotoStories’.
Open Eye Gallery (2018) ‘Culture Shifts is Open Eye Gallery's socially engaged photography programme. Culture Shifts: Local presents collaboratively produced photography from eight socially engaged photography projects across Liverpool. The currently ongoing work demonstrates how photography as an art practice can be used to help communities define themselves, bridge cultural divides and communicate the vital issues of today.’
Funded by the Strategic Touring Fund, Arts Council England.
Part 1 of a trilogy of works exploring surveillance in a Cold War 2.0 era. Featuring the voice of ex Star Wars pilot and James Bond villain, Jack Klaff Premiered at Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art, 2017.
Inspired by rebellion, counterculture and the possibility for Art, music and education as creative weapons for resistance against political repression. A filmic cut-up for radio with a difference: conjuring the spirit of the underground from a year that shaped a generation. Linking the activism of the past to the Art of the present.
Magician: Walking Back The Catis a work concerned with Remote Viewing (sensing with the mind) and more broadly, collective anxieties surrounding mass surveillance. Georgiou & Tolley reference both the historical and contemporary issue of consent and control, prompting a key question of our time: Who is watching who?
Featuring Jack Klaff with additional sound by Concretism.
A subtle and introspective montage that represents gaps in memory and recollection,Twin Stranger:Entangled Staterecalls a ‘person of interest’, marked by an image from a past life. Twin Stranger, alludes to the anxieties and paranoia surrounding mass surveillance, data gathering, doppelgängers and contemporary Cold War ideologies…
Exploring the space in-between still and moving images to ‘perform documents’, the work re-constructs and re-animates an archive image in an attempt to question the possibility of re-actualizing the photographic past.
As their departure point, Georgiou & Tolley interrogate andmeditate on an image originally captured at the Hotel Berolina, in August 1965. The Hotel was located in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) on Karl Marx Allee… the Champs-Élysées of the East. Its modernist architecture and interior heralded a brand newness, designed to echo state power, with its guests frequent targets of Stasi observation and coercion. 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and drawing on both real and fictional events, the subplot alludes to two historical moments, set three decades apart. Examined through kaleidoscopic cold war references, slowly unfolding as meandering recollections, traumatic incidents and interview-monologues spoken by male and a female counterparts. A psychological photo novella in which, suspicious persons in a hotel lobby are cryptically intertwined. Juxtaposing fragments of voices and overlapping sound, whilst alluding to the surveillance of potential suspects, persons whom could be either state spies or counter-cultural revolutionaries. Thereby establishing the duel moniker of both government and resistance, Georgiou & Tolley have created a historical and psychological excavation of secrets, paranoia and uncomfortable spaces.
The work includes field recordings taken on location by the artists at Rathaus Mitte (district hall), a state authorised architectural replicaof the original Berolina (demolished in 1996). The new building representing a ‘twin stranger’ or ‘false original’, built in 1998 for government ‘administration’ purposes. The artists’ travelled to the site to conduct a field survey of the architectural spaces, images and sounds. The resulting research material and related archive documents being assembled into a new ‘time based artwork’.
Twin Stranger employs filmic distortions to create a disruptive vision of space and time. Perceptual tricks, double images and split screen metaphors attempt to allude to something called the ‘The Frequency Illusion’ or the ‘Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon’, in which something recently learned suddenly appears 'everywhere' or in unexpected places. (The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon in itself has no direct correlation with the Baader-Meinhof Group, also known as the Red Army Faction).
Georgiou & Tolley’s wider work often explores the tension between truth and fiction, history and memory; interlinked and entangled projects, which often question the way that we map and classify the world in order to understand it. Their research is also linked to the subject of ‘historical memory’, often re-negotiating the archive, by mining image and sound to construct new contemporary artworks. Recent projects attempt to reveal the disparity involved in ‘re-presenting’ the past; the research question being, how this re-presentation shapes the image of the present, with a bearing on the here and now?
Utilising a range of practical approaches, including documentary research, socially engaged practice, field surveys and mapping the psychogeography of ‘how places feel’.
In addition, a new ‘Sound Walk’ entitled ‘From Anhalter Bahnof to Berolina’, will be delivered in Berlin on the 23rd November 2019, as a sister project to Twin Stranger: Entangled State. The off-site project will form part of a subsequent limited edition record label release, made in collaboration with sound artists, including Concretism, Brian Duffy and the voice of actor Jack Klaff, to accompany site-specific installations and happenings related to Twin Stranger for Coventry Biennial.
Sound Walk location:Hotel Berolina. Location: Karl-Marx Allee, Berlin, East Germany. Co-ordinates: 52°31′16″N 13°25′ 24″E / Opened 1963 (demolished 1996).
Rathaus Mitte (district hall). Location: Karl-Marx Allee, Berlin, East Germany. Co-ordinates: 52°31′16″N 13°25′ 24″E / Opened 1998 (as replacement to Hotel Berolina).
In the lead up to this year’s Biennial of Contemporary Art, Coventry Artspace presented a trailer for the new work as part of its Space Times moving image programme, curated by Ryan Hughes.
Twin Stranger: Entangled State premieres at Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art 4 Oct -24 Nov 2019
Between July 10 - 1981 & July 10 - 1990, artist Darryl Georgiou developed an ‘archive’ of 5000 photographs & 10 hours of Super 8 Cine film, reflecting the people, places & community of his home town, Handsworth B21.
Coming Autumn/Winter 2019... Hinterland: Re-negotiating the Archive Sound & Picture Poems (from Hunesworth to Harnall)
As part of Creative Multilingualism/Slanguages: investigating connections between linguistic diversity and creativity. #Hinterland by Darryl Georgiou, Coventry University, in partnership with Professor Rajinder Dudrah, Birmingham City University, who is leading on Slanguages as part of the Creative Multilingualism project based at the University of Oxford. ’Hinterland’ consists of new audio visual artworks and field recordings of international language ‘translations’, made in response to Georgiou’s personal archives of the English Midlands; including Handsworth B21 (Hunesworth) & Hillfields CV6 (Harnall).
Taking the archive as a departure point to work in the area of ’cross-cultural encounters’, and the notion of the untranslatable.
Buffet Menu (Villa Cross Tavern) Is an original artwork, which explores the subject of historical memory, using text and language within the context of how places feel, that involve trauma or perceived injustice. Buffet Menu takes as its departure point an original artefact sourced from the Villa Cross Tavern, a historical landmark that stood at the junction between Lozells Road and Heathfield Road, in Handsworth, Birmingham. The pub was a flashpoint location, central to the civil disturbances during the Handsworth riots, 9-11 Sep 1985. The disturbances were sparked by a police raid on the Villa Cross public house and the arrest of a man near the Acapulco Cafe. Georgiou takes this psychogeographic location and incident as inspiration, to examine the way in which, history can re-animate memory (if it is actively recalled in the present), and how flawed that recollection can potentially be.
Image: (Detail ‘Buffet Menu’) translation variant. An example of the word ‘TRIFLE’ being translated (or untranslatable) into multiple languages of the world. Detail from text artwork from ‘Hinterland: Re-negotiating the Archive’. The work explores the notion of multilingualism, cross-cultural encounters and the untranslatable.