Monica Ross: fallen idyll – the end of a perspective

17 March – 17 May

Gallery Two FlatScreen

home movies from 138 St.Lawrence Square, Byker 2003-2008
24’ single screen version, 2008

This single screen version of fallen idyll elides sequences from Bykermorning – the view from a deserted utopia: a home movie 2003-2004, with video shot at the same location in 2007-2008 to present a passage of time both seasonal and political. The Bykermorning sequences record early morning views from a window in a council flat in St. Lawrence Square, Byker from spring 2003 to winter 2004, and the transformation of the interior by the shifting light of the surrounding landscape. Visible only to the insider, these idyllic views retain the impulse of the social design and perspectives which produced the housing and run counter both to their decay and to external perceptions of the square as a ‘no go’ area and typical example of the failure of social housing. Five years later, the video witnesses the demolition of this former Tyneside workers’ housing, on land once held in common, to make way for its re-invention by property developers as a desirable riverside site.

Camera: Monica Ross 2003-2008 and Sneha Solanki 2008
Demolition video shoot assistant:  Kenneth Evans
Produced with the support of an Isis Arts mini residency 2007

fallen idyll – the end of a perspective was first shown as a two screen video installation by Isis Arts at St.Michaels Mount, Byker 2008.

Thanks to:
Susan Hiller, Jorn Ebner, Michelle Hirschhorn, Joel Fisher, Sneha Solanki, Lisa Panting, Alice Ross, Wolfgang Weileder, Rebecca Shatwell, Sharon Bailey and Isis Arts, Margaret Davis at Your Homes Newcastle, Walter Nichol at Owen Pugh PLC, Jimmy Shaw and the demolition crew.

On weekdays the following sister films will be Intermittently shown:

School of Paul Klee
6’  2006

Evening in the Workers City
Interior,Lipschitz Allee, Gropiusstadt
24’ 2006

Gropiusstadt is one of the ‘workers cities’ built on the outer ring of Berlin in the post war period. Utopian and modernist in design, it is of a different scale and quality to social housing estates built in Britain during the same period, but nevertheless shares the same fate of finding itself in a different future to the one it was designed for.

School of Paul Klee and Evening in the Workers City were produced following short stays in the artists flat of Pilotprojekt Gropiusstadt, Berlin, in 2005. Pilotprojekt Gropiusstadt is an artist led project curated by Uwe Jonas and Birgit Schumacher with the support of GEHAG GmbH and Kulturnetzwerk Neuköln e.V. Berlin.

If you would like to request a special viewing, please email or contact the office for an appointment.