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Shrinking Cities | Expanding Landscapes exhibition at ESALA

Art School Show : ESALA, Scotland

11 Nov 2013

Shrinking Cities Exhibition

Edinburgh School of Architecture


Shrinking Cities | Expanding Landscapes exhibition

Edinburgh School of Art

The Shrinking Cities | Expanding Landscapes exhibition showcases 8 internationally-­‐ exhibiting artists from throughout Europe with work that focuses on depopulated urban landscapes

Photos of the The Shrinking Cities | Expanding Landscapes exhibition:
Shrinking Cities | Expanding Landscapes Shrinking Cities | Expanding Landscapes
photos from organisers

Cities are changing, and with them, ways of dwelling, including the way we understand and operate within an urban context.

We move around the city, but we don’t always follow the maps and the marked paths. Sometimes, we prefer to draw alternate maps, to build alternate paths, adapting the streets to our desires, rather than the opposite.

And when, for some reason, streets become empty, a new city arises. We rebuild again through our actions and our steps, creating new possibilities on a map that was not useful anymore.


Lara Almarcegui (Spain), Santiago Cirugeda (Spain), Filipe Condado (Portugal), Robert Davies (UK), Manuel Eirís (Spain), Daniel Lema (Spain), Carme Nogueira (Spain), Stina Wirfelt (Sweden)

Ana González Chouciño, Curator Antonio Cervera, Curator Stella Mygdali, Coordinator

Shrinking Cities | Expanding Landscapes

“Shrinking Cities | Expanding Landscapes” Conference
14-16 Nov 2013
University of Edinburgh



Aula Abierta 3 – Betis 0
Vídeo, 09’54’’
Director: Alex Trotta, Producer: Recetas Urbanas
Language: Spanish (English subitles by María Álvarez)

Recetas Urbanas_Santiago Cirugeda:
Shrinking Cities | Expanding Landscapes
photo from organisers

Aula Abierta is a self-built and self-funded space. The project, born in response to the need for a space for physical and mental work as well as urban reflections, started in 2004 when a group of students from the University of Granada and Recetas Urbanas assembled a classroom from materials gathered by dismantling a building that was set to be demolished. In January 2012, the University decided to dismantle this project and the materials were transported to Recetas Urbanas in Seville.

Situaciones Urbanas (Urban Situations)
14 foamboard panels. Printing on vinyl
59.4 x 84.1 cm

This work presents fourteen specific situations in which Cirugeda explains how he has been able to misrepresent the status quo of the commodified city to propose a more livable city. It details the strategies that enable the reinvention of housing as museums, universities, community centers or public spaces.

Robert Davies

Development- Edinburgh’s lost regeneration landscape
12 Photographs
54 x 54 cm
43 x 54 cm

“Cities are the privilege scenes of memory, topographies in which the image of the unconscious of a culture corresponds with memory of traces of the individual.” Ingeborg Bachmann Development is a body of work which records abandoned and semi-finished regeneration projects on the coast of Edinburgh which have been impacted by the global financial crisis. These new urban villages, originally envisaged by developers, are now surrounded by waste land due to construction being put on hold or abandoned due to recession, creating shrinking city landscapes.

Carme Nogueira

In explanation
Site Specific Installation (video, documentary material)

We imagine place through a range of cartographic representations – maps, road networks, signs – which generally tend to ignore experiential questions in order to stress the importance of a sense of usefulness. The criteria of growth, of “tidying a place up”, are applied depending on representative, schematic or typological questions. “My aim is to visualise other aspects that the established forms do not register. Visible ideological schemata do not always, after all, coincide with experience. There is instead a multiplicity of policies.”

Manuel Eirís

Rúa da Palma no9, 2º
Series Unhidings

The title Rúa da Palma, nº9, 2º, is the address of the abandoned house in the city of Vigo where this action took place. This work is one of several actions of “undoing” the building, which Eirís carried out in 2009 for a project of the same title, which was exhibited in the Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo (MARCO).

Lara Almarcegui

International Garden Festival Liverpool
Series 3 of 5

In 1984, the International Garden Festival in Liverpool, with over sixty gardens and national pavilions, was one of the major government-sponsored regeneration projects by the Thatcher Government. After the Festival, only part of the development plan was realised. The pavilions became ruins, and plants in the Indian, Japanese and other national gardens mixed with local, British species.

Daniel Lema

Edinburgh Landscapes
6 Photographs
40 x 50 cm

With its roads, pavements, buildings, parks, bridges, fences, traffic lights, and furnishings, a city is a complex net of material signs which model, and to some extent, are modelled by, social practices. At a minimum, these photographs of urban landscapes begin to suggest the complexity of daily operating (unconsciously for most of the time) within our urban spaces.

They also offer an insightful vision of these signs from multiple points of view, occasionally while just passing through, at other times promising a vain hope of escaping their impositions. With an inquisitive background that asks about the role urban signs play in our ways of thinking and in our behaviours, we are presented with the signs themselves, and we are asked about the limits and restrictions arising from them. These photographs, taken in Edinburgh between February and May 2012, are part of a larger project that also includes portraits of the inhabitants of these landscapes.

Stina Wirfelt

Video, 7’

Monuments is a collection of photographs documenting truncated, unfinished roads and abandoned highway ramps around Glasgow. In the fictional city of Metropolis, the deadpan voiceover describes these unused thoroughfares as remnants of ‘…a fallen paradise that remained standing – a constant reminder of what could have been’.

Wirfelt casts the towering yet destitute landmarks as referents to an increasingly forgotten, or perhaps more succinctly, criticised, modernist ideal; prevalent reminders of the New Towns that were never built and neighbourhoods that were not raised. The narration is, however, cringingly sincere. ‘Monuments’ is motivated by straightforward interplay between the dialogue and visual clues in the photographs. This approach enables a functional deceit; the viewer is encouraged to believe the loosely woven audio-diary and its historical inaccuracies about the area portrayed.

Filipe Condado

Casas Vacías
2 photographies of 40 x 50 cm
1 photography of 30 x 40 cm

One day, while walking in Lisbon, I was curious to look through the gaps of a fence. Hidden behind, was an empty plot dominated by wild vegetation that had overtaken the last remains of an old building.

When I looked at the wall of the neighbouring building, previously hidden by the construction that no longer existed, I noticed that the interior walls of the former houses were still there!

Through them, their colours and dimensions, I started to imagine how those houses were…who lived there…what was inside…

Those walls, by resisting demolition, seemed to be sending a message. They were houses fighting for survival.
I felt, then, an urge to bring them back to life; to satisfy the wish of life in those walls… The installation Lost Houses is an urban intervention project that pretends to “revive” these walls while they wait to be replaced by a new building.

Therefore, I intend to collect a number of lost objects that might have belonged to those houses and place them in their respective divisions, or actually, in the walls that remain.

ECA Degree Show 2013

Edinburgh School of Architecture Degree Show

Edinburgh College of Art Degree Show

Work by Melissa Lawson:
Melissa Lawson design
photos © Melissa Lawson

Edinburgh College of Art

Edinburgh College of Art Edinburgh College of Art
photos © Adrian Welch

Edinburgh College of Art award: RMJM Award for Art and Architecture

Contact Edinburgh College of Art: +44 (0) 131 221 6072

Edinburgh Architecture

Edinburgh School of Art at Westport
Evolution House
photo © Adrian Welch

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh College of Art Gallery

Edinburgh College of Art context – Lauriston Fire Station

Edinburgh College of Art Architecture Contest
Edinburgh College of Art – RMJM Architecture Competition

Adjacent buildings include Evolution House – in 2006 Edinburgh College of Art took space in this building

Westport Edinburgh College of Art : Evolution House

Missoni Hotel Edinburgh

Comments / photos for the Shrinking Cities | Expanding Landscapes exhibition page welcome