Holly Street Voids, 1997-1998
EMPTY TOWER BLOCK:
The empty tower block stands as a symbol of a paradigm failure in UK social policy: the Dystopia and ultimate waste of castle-in-the-air housing projects which were scrapped and abandoned. They are all the more poignant a choice for imaging, given that tower blocks were originally meant to be a dream (Utopian) solution to the issue of ‘decent’ housing.
Concurrently, and in contemporary art terms, this series evinces something of ‘the uncanny’: that Freud-coined sensation whereby one feels, oddly enough, as if somebody had just left the room. In other words, that universal experience of recognising things as having been touched by the human hand in some way (in this case designed, built, ‘lived-in’) … yet, paradoxically, sensing the distinct lack of any human presence (or the failure of human effort).