Richard DeDomenici (UK) The Death of Social Housing

video performance, 2015

In London the accelerating construction boom is causing housing chaos for the capital’s working majority, more and more of whom are leaving the city due to steep rent rises and lack of truly affordable homes. Richard DeDomenici's studio of eight years is located in London's Aldgate East – south of trendy Shoreditch and east of the City, and is accordingly undergoing gentrification from two simultaneous fronts. He has watched with bemusement as the large block of social housing opposite has been emptied of its residents and converted into luxury apartments, many of which will be sold to overseas investors and remain empty. As an artist he is both culpable - artists moving into run-down spaces are often a harbinger of gentrification – and vulnerable – he recently had to move out of his studio as the building's owners have sold it to property developers. This is a story that is repeated across the world, and one I propose to explore in this project.

Richard DeDomenici invites the audience to mourn the loss of social housing by assembling their own flatpack papercraft model of Balfron Tower in East London, designed by Hungarian architect Erno Goldfinger, and currently being 'decanted' of its social residents. Participants are then invited to join a non-partisan, silent funeral cortege, between the Belgrade Youth Center and Belgrade Waterfront development, as an occasion to reflect and mourn together on these major changes. Upon reaching the Waterfront, mourners are invited give eulogies before cast their cardboard models into the water, and possibly set them on fire in a nod to Nordic sea burial. Mourners are invited to wear black.

Richard DeDomenici (UK)

Richard DeDomenici makes work that’s social, joyful, topical and political – although rarely simultaneously. He specializes in urban-absurdist interventions which strive to create the kind of uncertainty that leads to possibility. DeDomenici is the inventor of the Carry-Ok wearable karaoke system, office chair sport The Swivelympics, the crocheted crypto-currency Knitcoin, and the radical feminist Eurovision tribute Fux Bizz. He recently released a fundraising record called Live Art Aid. Last year DeDomenici adapted his inexplicably popular Redux Project for television as part of the BBC4 event Live From Television Centre. It was described by journalist Matt Trueman as one of the smartest, strangest, subversive half hours of television they had ever seen.

Earlier this year DeDomenici staged The Swivelympics on Level 5 of Tate Modern's new extension for its opening weekend, and is working on interpretation materials for Tate's Artist and Society and Media Networks displays. He recently premiered his Redux of Superman IV: The Quest For Peace at the Milton Keynes International Festival this summer, and also presented new work at the Barbican and the 10th Forest Fringe in Edinburgh. This autumn DeDomenici has been commissioned to make a TV pilot in a nuclear bunker, and will exhibit a balloon-based work in a gallery show about a hidden civil war in Newcastle. He has made work in 28 countries, and is currently trying to devise a site-specific project in Iran. In 2017 Richard DeDomenici will unveil his most ambitious commission yet from the Radical Independent Art Fund.Contact:

richarddedomenici@gmail.com
dedomenici.com