Jamie smith has an exhibition this coming thursday. Jamie very kindly takes amazing photos for us here at Lovenskate, but his real passion is for breaking into abandoned architecture and documenting their decay.
This show, its photos of the 2004 Olympic stadium in Athens, and the accompanying text is a real eye opener.
SEE YOU THERE!
Private View – 6.30-9pm. Thurs 6th Sept
Print House Gallery , Ashwin St. Dalston junction
‘Borrow, Build, Abandon – Athenian Adventures in Concrete and Steel’
“The most important thing is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well” – Baron Pierre de Coubertin, International Olympic Committee founder, 1894.
The Print House Gallery is pleased to announce ‘Borrow, Build, Abandon – Athenian Adventures in Concrete and Steel’. Thet first UK solo show by British photographer Jamie McGregor Smith. This exhibition explores the physical legacy that remains of the 2004 Athens Olympics, eight years after the games came to a close.
The work explores the physical residues of the stadiums and parks, built at a cost of $15 billion, which to this day remain largely disused. The significance of these white elephants is made starker by Greece’s huge national debt and the recent social unrest in response to national austerity measures. Even with 6 million of Greece’s 11 million citizens living in Athens, the Government and Olympic committee have had little success in increasing sports participation or commercial interest.
Modern-day ruins, these scenes lack the historical conflict or political upheaval associated with typical urban abandonment. Instead, they describe the products of international institutional pressure and a catastrophic failure in foresight, exasperated by the willingness to borrow money without questioning the validity of it’s investment. In the birth place of modern civilisation, these Athenian relics join the ancient hilltop ruins as a testament to inevitable social change.
Smith explains,“Olympic games construction highlights our continued trend of public borrowing for structures that have limited shelf lives. These developments come at a huge cost of limited natural resources, requiring energy consumption that far defies the technological progress we’ve discovered. In an age of sovereign debt crisis, these burdens of peer-pressured national pride are testament to a continued failure to comprehend inevitable entropic social change. Mistakes learnt from the relics of defunct industrialised cities, must encourage the possibility that all future construction could have functionally adaptable architecture.”
Jamie McGregor Smith’s work fuses an appreciation of the formal and aesthetic quality of architecture with an examination of the social and political context in which they were constructed. The status of these superstructures and their power on our human landscape, exaggerates their sense of failure in the context of their functional disestablishment.
About the Artist:
Growing up in Kent, Smith began his photographic studies at school and continued at Staffordshire University, graduating in 2006. Whilst assisting photographers in London, he continued his documentary work inspired by the industrial landscapes he encountered during his degree work. Since then his professional career has seen commissions and published work with the Guardian, Telegraph, FT, Wallpaper, 125 and Foto8, whilst exhibiting with the AOP, HOST, Four Corners and WPOY.
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