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May Mourn
May Mo(u)rn is a site-writing project which takes a collection of abandoned black and white photographs of modernist architectural icons found in a derelict arts and crafts house called 'May Morn' as a starting point for a discussion of London's post war social housing projects. Morn and mourn are homonyms, one suggests a beginning, the other an ending. Morning begins the day, while mourning – in grieving the loss of something or someone – marks an ending. Due to their deteriorating material states, the house and photographs point towards their own disintegration – or endings, yet the buildings contained within the photographs are shown at the beginning of their life. What does it mean, now, to turn back and examine these icons of modernism at an early moment – a spring time. This text-image work juxtaposes resurgence and decay, siting a fascination with the backwards gaze of nostalgia in relation to anticipation as a yearning that moves forward. So far the research has been published as academic essays and text works in the following publications: ‘May Morn’, (text-image work), Gareth Evans and Di Robson (eds), Towards The Re-Enchantment: Place and Its Meanings, (London, 2010): pp. 40–59; ‘May Mo(u)rn: A Site-Writing’, Nadir Lahiji (ed) Essays in honour of Frederic Jameson, (London: Ashgate, forthcoming 2011); ‘The Transitional Space of the Setting and the Social Condensor’, Adam Sharr (ed) Architecture as Cultural Artefact. (London: Routledge, forthcoming 2011/2); ‘May Mourn’ (text-image work) Sophie Warren and Jonathan Mosely (eds) Beyond Utopia (Errant Bodies Press, forthcoming 2011).
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