Urban Clearance

Urban Clearance- series of four projects. 29 July - 13 August 2005

Urban Clearance is a series of four projects of urban intervention and social interaction. Artists from France, England, Northern Ireland and Austria were invited to Belfast by PS2 –an artist group itself- to have a close look at the city and its urban and social structure. Their survey, discoveries or sightings are used to form the subject of their projects in various open forms: as an outside intervention, as documentation or installation, as an initiative or a film presentation - a dialogue with the city and the citizens at a time of significant political and economical change.

Belfast, like all of Northern Ireland, is undergoing huge regeneration. Although the former territorial divides, empty or derelict places or no go zones still exist, there is a sense of normalization, of re-use and re-claiming of the inner city with a boom in shops and café bars, consumerism and leisure, which seems to cement the fragile transition with its political insecurities and destabilizations. The building boom in the inner city re-furbishes and creates new public spaces, pedestrian zones or recreation areas, but it also defines their function and commercializes its use; a process, which most cities permanently undergo, and which is widely debated by planners, investors, business, community- and activist groups.

Urban Clearance tries to contribute to this discussion and activate the debate with four distinct and different projects. Different not only from the individual professional background: artists, architects, filmmakers…, but also from the way of engagement with the urban theme and the aesthetic translation and representation. What binds all participants together, is the confrontation with the built and un-built environment and its social use in their work; often seen as a process as opposed to a finished product. It is not by chance that all contributions come from collectives and groups, who understand from the outset the importance of collaboration as a necessary tool in the urban environment. The outcome seeks not only to provide a platform for further debates, initiatives and networks but also to offer a creative impulse of a re-interpretation and poetic transformation of the city.


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