Film and Video Umbrella’s touring exhibition Changing Places arrives at Phoenix, Leicester on 18 January. Presented within the Cube Gallery, three artworks by Imran Channa, Desire Machine Collective and Yasmin Jahan Nupur use video, installation and sound to illuminate Britain’s industrial, imperial past from contemporary perspectives. The works are all by artists with a connection to Bangladesh, India or Pakistan and explore threads of Britain’s shared history with that region.
Imran Channa’s installation Dust to Dust consists of actual dust samples, gathered from several historic buildings on the Changing Places tour. With many of these sites bearing links to the era of the British Empire, what he presents might be read as a commentary on how even the grandest of empires dwindles to nothing in the end. Accompanying the jars of dust is a large partially-erased drawing of the Crystal Palace, and a soundtrack that tells the story of Channa’s tour around England. Inspired by the writing style of the privileged explorers who visited and documented the colonies, Channa’s tale returns the favour, elaborating greatly on his journey and creating something resembling a Kipling-era adventure.
Desire Machine Collective’s lm Residue depicts the monumental space of a disused power station outside the artists’ hometown of Guwahati in India. Forgotten and crumbling, the architecture is becoming slowly engulfed by the nature that surrounds it. Viewed within the post- industrial St. Georges area of Leicester, the lm offers an interesting re ection on regeneration and what we choose to preserve.
Away From Home by Yasmin Jahan Nupur presents the reality of a group of workers who have travelled from Bangladesh to Mauritius for work. Exhibited in a city that has undergone huge demographic shifts through the movement of people, the lm acts as a reminder of some of the reasons for migration, as well as evoking the history of Leicester’s factories and workforces in the area surrounding Phoenix.
The exhibition launch features a curator tour and a screening of additional lms from the Changing Places tour. From 6.30pm on 18 January. Admission is free.
Changing Places is a Film and Video Umbrella touring exhibition, supported by Arts Council England, Canal & River Trust, National Trust, City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, Hastings Museum & Art Gallery, Phoenix Leicester, Feltech, Links Signs and Heritage Lottery Fund. Curated by Mariam Zul qar.
Changing Places is at Phoenix Leicester from 18th January – 11th March