Greylands Showroom

Outline

 

Greylands Showroom

In 2001 the Greylands Showroom exhibits for the first time in its office / showroom format at the ‘Photographers' Gallery’ in London. The idea to have a showroom or office project was initiated with the development of the Greylands project. When the robot driven project was taken to a new contaminated site, all the research collated for the project – to work out who polluted the site, when and with what agents – was to be made available on site as well as through the website. This meant that there had to be a porta-cabin or a portable structure that acted as an on-site showroom for each polluted site we visited.

In 2001, post Greylands at the LeBretton Flats site, the idea to develop the showroom as an archival / documentation centre is proposed as an installation which can travel with Greylands, but can also tour separately to different galleries as well. The name of the company we developed the Greylands project under is ‘Borderline Developments’. Greylands becomes one of the developments that the company oversees and attempts to sell to interested parties.

For the installation of the showroom in London, an office space is constructed within the gallery. Carpet is laid, the walls are painted in grey and orange (the company colours of ‘Borderline Developments’) and office furniture is fitted into the space. Folders, binders and books reside on the bookshelves containing the research we had carried out about contaminated sites which Greylands had travelled to in the past. A secretary sits at the desk at the end of the space where the audience can come and ask questions about the projects we undertake as ‘Borderline Developments’. A computer sits on the desk with the Greylands website on it. Photographs of the company robot, aerial photographs of the architectural plans marked on the sites and billboards adorn the walls. An infomercial, shown on a TV at the entrance of the showroom, advertises opportunities to invest in a 'Borderline Developments' polluted tract of land.

When the Greylands project travels to Mexico City, the Showroom is fully developed as a research project in and of itself. When installed in ‘Arte Alameda’ and ‘Centro de la Imagen’ in Mexico City, more company merchandise is produced and made available to the public. Keychains, T-shirts, mouse pads and pens, amongst other items are made and given away to members of the audience who come to see the show. Aerial plans of the contaminated site to be used are rolled out on a table and again a secretary works at the desk to answer questions, as well as working on collating information for the Greylands off-site project in Mexico City.

The final installation of this project happens at ‘Optica’ in Montréal, Canada as part of a group show about urban intervention called La Demeure (The Dwelling). The showroom offers information about contaminated sites around the world. It also offers insight into how the GPS driven robot was directed to draw out people’s architectural plans, which are designed for these types of contaminated spaces. Given that polluted tracts of land are becoming more abundant in cities around the world, Greylands Showroom suggests different strategies for how we think, utilize and redevelop them.

Greylands Showroom exhibits at the following galleries -

2002   Optica: Un Centre d’art Contemporain (Montréal, Canada)
           Arte Alameda (Mexico City, Mexico)
           Centro de la Imagen (Mexico City, Mexico)
2001   The Photographers’ Gallery (London, England)
1999   Span Galleries (Melbourne, Australia)