Falling Away

Thursday 21 October – Saturday 20 November 2021

Catherine Yass, Royal London, 2018.

Catherine Yass, Royal London, 2018

Catherine Yass, Royal London, 2018.

A major exhibition of Catherine Yass’s film installation works at Ambika P3, including a new work made in response to the impact of COVID-19. Titled Falling Away, this will be the first retrospective of the artist’s extensive body of film work in the UK. Ambika P3’s subterranean space will engage audiences in the disorientating effects of Yass’s films, which portray architecture undergoing construction or demolition. The exhibition will address the fragility of our social fabric, whose material structures have been destabilized and exposed by the pandemic.

Yass’s work engages with verticality in ways that provoke us to think about the conditions of social as well as spatial instability in which we currently live. The pandemic has exacerbated these conditions and exposed the deep- seated imbalance in our society. The works draw attention to the vital role of public services and the way they are framed by architecture. For example, one of her films documents a hospital undergoing demolition from the perspective of the dying building, revealing a beleaguered NHS; in another film, the BBC appears vulnerable as its visionary TV Centre is dismantled for real estate. The physical impact of these works will be fully experienced when exhibited in Ambika P3.

Since its inception, Ambika P3 has been developing innovative methods for forming a distinctly experimental art site, rather than a gallery or cinema. Through this exhibition we will further question the relationships between artist, image, space, and viewer, as well as the collaborative role of the curator as designer and co-producer.

Falling Away is co-curated by film-maker and Ambika P3 curator Michael Mazière with Davide Deriu, Reader in Architecture at the University of Westminster. The exhibition is informed by Deriu’s research into Vertigo in the City (funded by the Wellcome Trust and the British Academy) as well as Maziere’s interdisciplinary curatorial practice. It will be accompanied by a catalogue, a symposium, secondary school and community workshops. Edited by Deriu and Mazière, the catalogue will comprise essays by art writers, historians and critics as well as by the curators. For this exhibition, we are organising an international public symposium exploring vertigo and verticality in relation to architecture and reflecting on Yass’s art practice.

This exhibition is generously supported by: British Academy; University of Westminster’s Research Communities; University of the Creative Arts; Alison Jacques Gallery; Supported using public funding by Arts Council England Arts.