9th Feb 2017
The Old Courtroom, 118 Church St, Brighton BN1
Is it possible to be both modern and rural? Or is modernism an urban condition? What histories of radical modernism exist outside urban centres and what sort of futures do they suggest? Is the city the centre of rationalism and the countryside a place of superstitions and arcane beliefs? Is the rural always a backwater and the city always the centre?Each discussion will ‘twin’ very different people, organisations and ideas, asking them to explore difference as well as cultivate common ground. Twins aims to tackle received wisdoms, reach beyond entrenched positions and discover fertile new ground between.
Twinning can be read on a number of levels: it suggests not only biological twins but the forming of links between things. The practice of twinning towns is based on an alliance of interests and the identification of similarities. Sometimes forced or unlikely, these acts of reaching-out are perhaps more important than ever in our current political uncertainty. Our interest is in counteracting isolationism, in opening up new conversations and in the cross-fertilisation of people, ideas and places.
Twins is curated by Robert Mull and Charles Holland, new Professors at the University of Brighton and will be compered by Gemma Barton.
Owen Hatherley is a writer and critic. His books include Militant Modernism, A Guide To The New Ruins of Great Britain and The Ministry of Nostalgia. Owen’s writing covers politics, architecture and culture.
Hana Loftus is a director of the architecture practice HAT. Recent projects include the new Jerwood Gallery in Hastings and High House Artist’s Studios in Thurrock as well as new rural housing in Suffolk. The practice is based in Essex and Hana’s experience includes working at Rural Studio in the US.
Dr Rosemary Shirley
Rosemary Shirley is a lecturer in art history at Manchester School of Art. Her research centres on everyday life and visual culture, with a particular emphasis on contemporary rural contexts. This has led her to write about topics as diverse as litter, motorways, folk customs and scrapbooks. She is the editor of the book Rural Modernity, Everyday Life and Visual Culture.
Ken Worpole is a writer and social historian, whose work includes books on architecture, landscape and public policy. His principal interests concern the planning and design of new landscapes and public institutions and learning the lessons of 20th century urban democracy and the rise of the environmental movement. Ken is Emeritus Professor, Cities Institute London Metropolitan University.