Sold Out

Ownership by Walking: Traversing Urban Ruins

Event Information

Share this event

Date and Time

Location

Location

Gorton Monastery

Manchester

M12 5LD

United Kingdom

View Map

Event description

Description

This workshop is part of the Clusters and Entanglements Phenomenological Reading Group

Gorton Monastery (built 1866 – 1872), designed by the architectural firm of E W Pugin, still stands amidst Gorton’s post-industrial landscape, a Manchester suburb. Surrounded by a large car park and green fences, its brightly lit redevelopment still houses interior clues to its past period of ‘ruination’.

Gorton was once a ‘thriving nineteenth century landscape’, leading the world’s manufacture of railway locomotives at Beyer & Peacock, as well as home to Crossley’s Trucks and Buses, and Gorton Mills. In the 1960s, these industries declined, due to various economic factors and the introduction of new technologies), which resulted in a mass ‘slum clearance’ of the ‘two-up and two-down’ cottages, and the movement of residents to nearby Wythenshawe and Hattersley. The monastery, once a hub of the growing catholic community since the 1870s, and the home of the Franciscan friars, was eventually sold to a residential developer in 1991. Plans to convert the monastery to flats never materialised, resulting in a period of decline and vandalism – a monastery in ruins. The building was eventually rescued through a Heritage Lottery Fund Grant.

The monastery now acts as a lavish conference/event venue, incongruously placed in Gorton, a landscape made up of new builds, industrial estates, empty plots, closed schools and dilapidated terrace houses, a space of entangled histories, materials and natural/man-made entities (a problematic dichotomy in itself).

For this session, we will consider this post-industrial landscape, and the materiality of the monastery, through the themes of ‘ruin’ and ‘ownership’. Through the readings, our slightly ‘voyeuristic’ dérive explorations, and making artist books, we hope to consider ways of ‘sensing’ the urban environment, and play with the concept that we are temporary ‘owners’ of the spaces we traverse.

We will be sharing our readings/ideas/output through various types of exchange in collaboration with Street Road Artists Space, USA. www.streetroad.org

Located in Chester County, Pennsylvania, an hour west of Philadelphia, Street Road Artists Space engages in visual art projects that relate to land ownership, drawing on the space’s history as an evolution of a family real estate business. Challenges to received wisdom about property, especially how it relates to social relationships, are the focus.

Our current project, Clouded Title (led by Daphne Plessner and Emily Artinian), is a research-based series of interviews on the topic of ownership – its ambiguities, histories, and areas of contestation. The project engages with a range of individuals and groups to investigate imaginaries of ownership, with a focus on land. Landholding models – especially those emphasizing social and ecological relationships over private possession – are explored. Visual artworks and expressive and theoretical writing that draw out these themes are presented in a 4-month exhibition at Street Road and may also be included in our Clouded Title publication (2019).

Please note that the group will meet at Manchester Piccadilly train station and travel to Gorton together (a five minute train ride), although individuals must purchase a ticket to Gorton on their own accord. Readings will be sent to those that register two weeks before the event. Lunch will not be provided, but can be purchased at the Pantry in Gorton Monastery as part of the day. Lunch and a drink ranges from £5-10, with vegan options.

Logistics and reading will be sent to those registered.

Reading

Edensor, Tim. (2007) ‘Sensing the Ruin.’ The Senses and Society. 2(2) pp.217 – 232

Cohen, Jeffrey Jerome. (2015) Stone: An Ecology of the Inhuman. University of Minnesota Press (short excerpt)

Solnit, Rebecca. (2007) ‘Detroit Arcadia Exploring the Post-American Landscape’ Harpers Magazine

Extra Reading/listening

Video: Gorton Monastery in its derelict period (please excuse the music! )

Music: Jon Hopkins Abandon Window (two versions) Version One Version Two

Short Excerpts from Elizabeth Gaskell’s view of Manchester around 1840.

Share with friends

Date and Time

Location

Gorton Monastery

Manchester

M12 5LD

United Kingdom

View Map

Save This Event

Event Saved