Guest curator: Shama Khanna
The presentation of the
Clays Lane Live Archive at Supplement and the Bethnal Green Library
marks the culmination of a four-year long research project by Adelita
Husni-Bey curated into an exhibition and events programme by guest Curator
Shama Khanna. The archive maps the history of the Clays Lane housing
co-operative built in 1982 through to its demolition in 2007 ahead of the
regeneration work planned for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
exhibition is a timely platform for the presentation of materials collected
by the former-residents of Clays Lane and Husni-Bey from before and after
the eviction process began. The exhibition highlights the disparity between
the lives of housing co-operative's residents compared to the weight of
power and accompanying rhetoric of 'faster, stronger, higher' which arrived
in East London in the form of the Olympic juggernaut. Recalling TS Elliot's
poetry, the language used by the Olympic Development Authority spoke of the
site of the Clays Lane estate as 'a wasteland' ripe for investment and
development. This ideologically undemocratic attitude sets up a hierarchy
between the indiscriminate power of capital and the contributions of a
community defined, at best, as invisible.
features material from the collections of former-residents including; zines
and ephemera donated by the band Dead Dog Mountain formed by
residents of the co-operative in the late 1980s, John Sole's technical
drawings of the estate made by counting the bricks along each side of the
co-operative buildings; Julian Cheyne's minute documentation of the
members' collective challenge to the compulsory purchase order registered
in 2007 alongside documentation of social events and a series of personal
testimonies by 'Clays Laners' filmed by Theo Berton.
accompanying free events programme at Bethnal Green Library includes a
round table discussion about the privatisation of public space, a
participatory workshop, a walk through an Olympic borderland, a meeting of
former Clays Lane residents and the campaigning group Gamesmonitor, and a
play by Husni-Bey conceived of and acted by former-resident Dexter
Hanoomansingh. The exhibition and events which form the Clays Lane Live
Archive constitute acts of resistance which have lasting vitality
as the claims of the Games' Legacy await to be proven.
Following the exhibition the Clays Lane Live Archive will be
housed at Bishopsgate Institute, London, EC2.
details please click here.
To reserve a place at the free events please email
Husni-Bey (born Milan, 1985) is an artist and researcher.
After studying Fine Art at Chelsea school of Arts & Design, she
obtained an MA in Sociology & Urban Cultures at Goldsmiths University.
Her current research involves autonomy, Micro-utopias, pirate-utopias, the
'Land Issue', collective memory (the production of), dissent and control,
anarchist pedagogy and free-schools. Recent exhibitions and awards include:
'TRACK – A Contemporary City Conversation', S.M.A.K museum, curated
by Mirjam Varadinis and Philippe Van Cauteren, Ghent, 'Right to Refusal'
curated by Eva Kraus and Doreen Mende, Magazin4/ Kunstverein Bregenz,
Bregenz, 'A Holiday from Rules' by Vincenzo De Bellis, MACRO Museum, Rome.
Awards and grants include: British Council Grant for Artists Abroad, Ratti
Foundation Residency with Hans Haacke, 2012 Young Collector Prize/ MAXXI
Museum acquisition, Rome, Independent Study Program (ISP), Whitney Museum,
Shama Khanna (born 1981,
Nairobi) is a curator and writer based in London. She is the curator
of the thematic programme at Oberhausen Film Festival 2013. Over the course
of her career she has presented projects at Showroom, E:vent gallery, Tate
and Lux/ ICA Biennial of Moving Image in London, Spike Island in Bristol,
Iaspis in Umeå, Kunstverein Muenchen and with e-flux, Performa and
MoMA PS1 in New York City. She writes for Frieze and Mousse
magazines as well as numerous independent publications. She teaches at
Chelsea College, University of the Arts London and is a participant on the
2012/2013 Curatorlab at Konstfack, Stockholm.