The Housing Question
‘Postlandlordism’ was a Freee art collective project commissioned by MIMA for the gropu exhibition The Housing Project. The project consisted of a series of limited edition scarves, a kiosk workshop, an exhibition, a participatory event and a public discussion of the work of Freee.
Description of project
Mima is one of the UK's leading galleries for modern and contemporary art and craft, currently run in a partnership with Teesside University. MIMA has been deeply involved in the development of contemporary art’s social turn and the current director, Alistair Hudson, who was previously Deputy Director at Grizedale Arts, is a co-director of the Asociación de Arte Útil and he is currently implementing a vision to make Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art a useful museum, a civic institution that promotes art as a tool for social change. The Freee Art Collective were included in The Housing Question, a group exhibition that addresses social issues relating to housing, homelessness and private property from the nineteenth century to the present. The exhibition features art, project case studies, writing, film, printed matter and archive materials dealing with living conditions, architecture and urban spaces under capitalism. The title is taken from a series of articles written by Frederick Engels in 1872. For The Housing Question MIMA commissioned a new work, from Freee titled ‘Postlandlordism’. This project consisted of an exhibition, a participatory event, a workshop and a panel discussion with Freee. ‘Postlandlordism’ included the production of a series of limited edition scarves containing slogans about housing to be used as part of workshops staged around a purpose built kiosk around which a public could assemble. An additional scarf will be commissioned by MIMA from Freee to acknowledge the slogans produced collectively with the public during events in the gallery. The scarves allow passersby and gallery visitors to turn themselves into members of a public sphere by wearing them or holding them aloft for others to read. The workshop consisted of inviting passersby to write and draw their own slogans on templates of scarves printed in advance. The discussion around the kiosk turned on issues of the day, especially questions concerning immigration and detention since a significant proportion of the participants were themselves immigrants denied the right to work in the UK. The slogans on the scarves encourage debate. This aim is understood to go against the grain of the museum, which is an institution of the aestheticisation of the subject. In this regard, the project aims to replace social processes of aestheticisation with social processes of politicisation.
Type of work
Commissioned work within a curated group exhibition
MIMA (Middlesborough Institue of Modern Art), UK
Link to web site
The Freee Art Collective (Dave Beech, Mel Jordan and Andy Hewitt)
politicisation embodied politics