Welcome to the London Architecture Diary, your essential guide to architecture exhibitions and events taking place across the city, brought to you by New London Architecture.
Homelessness in the United Kingdom is on the rise. At the start of 2020 at least one out of every 200 people in England is living without permanent or safe accommodation. Homeless deaths have increased by 20% in England and Wales over the last year. On December 7, 2019, 60 cities participated in the World’s Big Sleep Out to call attention to the urgency of the crisis. There has been a significant response from communities, who have set up shelters and Streets Kitchens in public spaces across the United Kingdom. Sustained campaigning from Crisis resulted in the Homelessness Reduction Act coming into force in 2018. Despite this, 91% of local authorities in the UK did not respond to basic questions about homelessness when contacted.
Artist Anthony Luvera has collaborated with individuals who have experienced homelessness in cities and towns across the UK for over fifteen years. In places such as Belfast, Brighton, Colchester, and in boroughs all over London, he has worked with hundreds of people, and through this process collated thousands of photographs, videos, sound recordings and texts, created with or by participants. These works tell stories about individual experiences, and the systems and services that shape people’s everyday lives.
Anthony Luvera: Taking Place, curated by Futurecity, presents two bodies of work: Photographs from Assembly (2013 – 2014) and responses from Frequently Asked Questions (2014 – ongoing). For Assembly, commissioned by Brighton Photo Fringe, Luvera invited individuals associated with the area’s First Base Day Centre and the Phase One Project to create photographs and sound recordings of the places, people and events that captivated them. Eventually, some of those participants worked with Luvera on the development of Assisted Self-Portraits. The photographs that resulted have been framed and edited with collaboration from their protagonists, upending the traditional photography process and empowering the portraitist themselves.
Frequently Asked Questions is a research work that focuses on the impact of homelessness at the national level, demonstrating the true scale of the crisis through an individual’s navigation of bureaucratic and depersonalising centres of authority. Stemming from a parallel enquiry conducted over the past five years with Gerald Mclaverty, a participant of Assembly, it presents responses from 110 local authorities across the UK, based on questions arising from Gerald’s own experience of homelessness.
Anthony Luvera’s work invites you to consider the narratives and dimensions that can be shared through a collaborative approach to creating art. In this bookstore, stories take place across six floors. Taking Place gives agency to Luvera’s collaborators, their lives and the stories they have to tell.
Join the conversation: #AnthonyLuvera #FrequentlyAskedQuestions #Assembly #TheGalleryatFoylesTwitter, Instagram: @Anthony_Luvera @our_MoH @futurecityblog