Taking Place Exhibition – Until 29 February

Taking Place Exhibition – Until 29 February
5th January 2020 Tess Hudak

Artist Anthony Luvera, in association with MoH has launched ‘Taking Place’, a new free exhibition running from 11th January to 29th February, 2020 at the Gallery at Foyles that uncovers the shocking and poignant challenge faced by those experiencing homelessness and asks audiences to consider the narratives and dimensions that can be shared through a collaborative approach to different creative mediums, radically refocusing centres of power. This exhibition presents Assembly (2013 – 2014) and Frequently Asked Questions (2014 – ongoing). The exhibition has been curated by Futurecity.

Background

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. 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.

About the Exhibition – Anthony Luvera: Taking Place

In the last three years, MoH has worked with Luvera to develop Frequently Asked Questions. The project demonstrates the true scale of the homelessness crisis by navigating bureaucratic and depersonalising centres of authority through a striking wall installation. MoH has offered advise and support for two previous showcases at Tate Liverpool in 2018 and most recently, at the People Republic of Stoke’s Croft in Bristol.

Stemming from research with Gerald Mclaverty, conducted over the past five years, it presents responses from 110 local authorities across the UK on the services available for people experiencing homelessness, based on questions arising from Gerald’s own experience, such as “where can I go for something to eat?”, “where can I find shelter from when it is raining or snowing?” or “where can I sleep during the night that is safe?” 41 of the councils did not reply at all. With the introduction of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017, Councils are now legally bound by new duties in relation to homeless individuals and these findings put their performance in relation to the Act under the microscope.

“The range of responses to these questions from across the country is, quite frankly, alarming to me. Most of the replies were automated emails signposting the reader towards websites and other general resources,” Anthony Luvera said.

In Brighton in 2013, 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 in which they co-created their self-representations as part of Assembly. The photographs that resulted are co-sited, framed and edited with the careful guidance of their protagonists, upending the traditional photography process, and empowering the portraitist themselves. Viewers are invited to listen to accompanying sound recordings of participants in the editing room with Luvera on their mobile devices.

Day long programme of Public Events – 27th February

As part of Anthony Luvera: Taking Place, a day of public events will also be held, to generate discussions and creative responses that unpack the issues at stake in the work. All events are free.

Taking Place: A Day of Talks on Homelessness & Housing Justice
Thursday 27th February, 9:30am – 5.30pm at the Auditorium in Foyles Bookstore, speakers include artists, campaigners, politicians and academics.  Find out more.

Choir With No Name – Performance
Thursday 27th February, 6:30pm – 7:00pm at The Gallery at Foyles.

Education Resource
To accompany the exhibition a free online educational resource for teachers and students has been created by Photopedagogy:
photopedagogy.com/representing-homelessness.html

Visiting the Exhibition

The Gallery at Foyles
107 Charing Cross Rd
London WC2H 0EB

Monday 9:30am – 9pm

Tuesday-Saturday 9am – 9pm

Sunday 11:30am – 6pm

www.galleryatfoyles.com/taking-place/

About the Artist and Partners

Anthony Luvera has collaborated with people who have experienced homelessness in cities and towns across the UK for over fifteen years. 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 express the points of view of individuals to tell stories about their experiences and the systems and services that shape their everyday lives.

Presented at The Gallery at Foyles, London, from the 11th January to 29th February, 2020, Anthony Luvera: Taking Place combines art and policy to allow people to better understand just how homelessness affects our society.

Produced in association with Museum of Homelessness and supported by Coventry University, the exhibition gives a picture of how services both help and hinder the estimated 320,000 homeless people in Britain, and offers an insight into the challenges and realities faced by the most marginalised individuals as they attempt to access systems of care.

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