Anthony Luvera: Taking Place at The Gallery at Foyles, London from 14 January
Assembly by Anthony Luvera, 2014
The Gallery at Foyles
107 Charing Cross London WC2H 0EB
11 January to 29 February 2020
Homelessness in the United Kingdom is on the rise. At the start of 2020 at least one out of every 200 people is living without permanent or safe accommodation. At the same time, 91% of local authorities cannot answer basic questions about homelessness in their communities. Clearly, with such staggering figures, we face a major national crisis.
Anthony Luvera: Taking Place, curated by Futurecity, uncovers the shocking and poignant challenge faced by those experiencing homelessness and asks audiences to consider the narratives and dimensions that can be shared through a collaborative approach to different creative mediums, radically refocusing centres of power. This exhibition presents Assembly (2013 – 2014) and Frequently Asked Questions (2014 – ongoing), commissioned by Brighton Photo Fringe in 2013.
Frequently Asked Questions demonstrates the true scale of the homelessness crisis by navigating bureaucratic and depersonalising centres of authority through a striking wall installation. Stemming from research with Gerald Mclaverty, conducted over the past five years, it presents responses from 110 local authorities across the UK on the services available for people experiencing homelessness, based on questions arising from Gerald’s own experience, such as “where can I go for something to eat?”, “where can I find shelter from when it is raining or snowing?” or “where can I sleep during the night that is safe?” 41 of the councils did not reply at all. With the introduction of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017, Councils are now legally bound by new duties in relation to homeless individuals and these findings put their performance in relation to the Act under the microscope.
“The range of responses to these questions from across the country is, quite frankly, alarming to me. Most of the replies were automated emails signposting the reader towards websites and other general resources,” Anthony Luvera said.
Commissioned by Brighton Photo Fringe in 2013, Luvera invited individuals associated with the area’s First Base Day Centre and the Phase One Project to create photographs and sound recordings of the places, people and events that captivated them. Eventually, some of those participants worked with Luvera on the development of Assisted Self-Portraits in which they co-created their self-representations as part of Assembly, first shown at Phoenix Arts Space, Brighton for BPF14. The photographs that resulted are co-sited, framed and edited with the careful guidance of their protagonists, upending the traditional photography process, and empowering the portraitist themselves. Viewers are invited to listen to accompanying sound recordings of participants in the editing room with Luvera on their mobile devices.
Anthony Luvera has collaborated with people who have experienced homelessness in cities and towns across the UK for over fifteen years. He has worked with hundreds of people, and through this process collated thousands of photographs, videos, sound recordings, and texts, created with or by participants. These works express the points of view of individuals to tell stories about their experiences and the systems and services that shape their everyday lives.
Produced in association with Museum of Homelessnessand supported by Coventry University, the exhibition gives a picture of how services both help and hinder the estimated 320,000 homeless people in Britain, and offers an insight into the challenges and realities faced by the most marginalised individuals as they attempt to access systems of care.
Programme of Public Events:
As part of Anthony Luvera: Taking Place, a programme of public events will also be held, to generate discussions and creative responses that unpack the issues at stake in the work.
Choir With No Name - Performance
Thursday 27 February, 6:30pm – 7:00pm at The Gallery at Foyles
Taking Place: A Day of Talks on Homelessness & Housing Justice
Friday 14 February, 9:00am – 6:00pm at the Auditorium in Foyles Bookstore
Full details of the programme for the day to be announced soon.
Education Resource: To accompany the exhibition a free online educational resource for teachers and students has been created by Photopedagogy: