As a way to wrap up my time with this show a personal Facebook post from just a few days ago(i) which seems relevant to share here:
There's snippets of a paragraph from Matthew Beaumont's "Night Walking" that is haunting me that I just can't get out of my head. It's a comment on "Michel Foucault's 'The Order Of Things' talking about obscure city spaces:
" . . . The 'obscure space' embedded in what the enlightenment identifies as 'man's nature' is both exterior to him and indispensable to him . . . The obscure spaces of the metropolitan city, which are at once alien to the bourgeois city's self-image and essential to its project of self-aggrandisement, are also shadows and blind stains."
(Matthew Beaumont, "Night Walking", 2015, pg 113-114)
I'm taking this as suggesting that the hidden alcoves, the shadow filled alleys are unavoidable. They are the flip side of the pristine modern city, but the pristine modern city does all it can to disavow that these places and spaces are needed.
These spaces, I'm at times exploring, are the spaces that those that help maintain the bright sparkly clean future city walk through. I'm thinking of the cleaners, the shop staff, the security staff, the waste disposal people, the delivery people all of whom use the spaces that we tend to want to pass by and ignore.
These half lit spaces are often seen as edgy and dangerous but these are the spaces that the workers of the city use. Those folk that are the backbone, who exist both in front of and behind the scenes to keep the spectacle of the modern city running. These spaces hold the side/back door entrances, trade entrances, delivery bays, places that obscure the to-ings and fro-ings of those that maintain the facade of the bright clean city. These spaces are needed and unavoidably exist in opposition to the supposed 'perfection' that they help support.