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'Porous Cities', Off-site Group Show at South Parade at Feria, Marseille

“...streets are the dwelling place of the collective. The collective is an eternally unquiet, eternally agitated being that–in the space between the building fronts–experiences, learns, understands, and invents.” 
– Walter Benjamin 

“The porous city is a city in which nothing moves forward on straight lines, through ruptures.” 
– Massimo Cacciari 

Accompanying its participation in Marseille’s Art-O-Rama, South Parade presents Porous Cities at Feria; an exchange between London and Marseille. 

We tend to categorise aspects of life and society: night and day, housing and work, reproduction and production. Cities mirror these divisions, often lacking transitional spaces, marked by zones and fixed boundaries. 

In the 20th century, Walter Benjamin extensively explored urban loneliness and disconnection. Yet, he also saw cities as experimental, providing insights into improved lifestyles. Referencing cities like Marseille, Moscow, and Naples as "dispersed, porous, commingled" sites, he highlighted their capacity for unexpected or surprising connections. Urban transitional spaces—caves, courtyards, arcades—fuelled idea-sharing, cultural exchange, and community bonding. Using Benjamin’s writing as a departure point, this exhibition draws together artists who explore the city – community, ritual and history — through process, material and subject. 

Camille Yvert’s sound and text work uses the car as a symbol to bridge technology and emotion. A second skin; a utopian extension of our anatomy, it is intertwined with global mobility. Elijah Maja explores the pace of a city, of a landscape, of speech. His interest in call and response as a technology for inquiry, encounter and memory is central to his sound and moving image work. In a similar vein, patterns in human communication is a point of departure for SAGG Napoli. Playfully tongue-and-cheek, her focus on Italy’s internal colonialism introduces complex questions in her work, which she confronts through a feminist lens. Ryder Morey-Weale takes from his immediate surroundings. Using salvaged cardboard and other discarded materials, his free-standing and wall based works are speckled with naturalised moths and dried plants, a reminder of humans’ intertwined relationship with nature. Sofia Hallström draws from images, objects, and motifs from a wide range of historical moments and contexts; within them she explores the frictions between public and private space. Luca Longhi's archival approach captures overlooked spaces—kitchens, cafes, construction sites—melding symbols with architectural details, unravelling their interconnected signs and layers. Collage, layered symbols and signs are similarly explored in Waj Hussain’s work. Engaging in the 'cut-up' technique using text from gay magazines, his work adds a playful challenge to conventional gallery norms. Extending out of the gallery space, REDEYE plays a role in fostering cultural exchange within the city by amplifying underrepresented voices through their monthly film screenings. 

A live programme of screenings programmed by REDEYE extends the exhibition to include, amongst other concerns, modular architecture, the domestic in narrative film and fiction. 

31.8.23 — 9.9.23

Sofia Hallström, Waj Hussain, Luca Longhi, Elijah Maja, Ryder Morey-Weale, SAGG Napoli, REDEYE & Camille Yvert

South Parade

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