Darryl Georgiou will be previewing his new work from 9 July -11 September 2011.
Buffet Menu (Villa Cross Tavern) is an artwork/text intervention that will be exhibited to mark the 30th anniversary of the first Handsworth disturbance (10 July) 1981.
The work is part of a wider and ongoing project by Georgiou exploring the subject of historical memory within the context of how places feel. The work often draws on viewer nostalgia and subverts it to allude to the strangeness of reconstructing or remembering the past through the eyes of the present.
Buffet Menu takes as its departure point an original artefact sourced from the Villa Cross Tavern. A significant landmark that stood at the junction between Lozells Road and Heathfield Road. The pub was closed after the Handsworth riots in 1985 and was central to the civil disturbances.
The artist has partially restored the pub menu since recovering it from the actual venue during an aborted renovation. As a reference point, Georgiou has used original drawings and photographs taken on location throughout the 1980’s – and before leaving the Midlands for Art College.
Georgiou has close family links with Handsworth having spent his formative years in the area, returning post University to work at TEN.8 - an influential, international photography journal published in Birmingham until the early 1990’s. Like the Buffet Menu artwork on show, Ten.8 was shaped by and reflects the decade of Thatcherism.
Following on from the B21 short film screening at The Public last year – a sound and picture poem also portraying Handsworth in the 1980’s, Georgiou has subsequently been investigating archives, including the National Collections of Photography. This is part of an ongoing research residency hosted by Birmingham Central Library, concerned primarily with what’s missing from the official archive.
Looking at the memory of photography itself and also exploring the way in which history only properly exists if it is actively recalled in the present or how flawed that recollection can potentially be.
By examining both private and public archives - systems of collection and re-presentation - the work is ‘making connections’ and hopefully new narratives with some bearing on the here and now.
Darryl Georgiou is an artist and principal lecturer at Coventry University’s School of Art and Design. His work has been exhibited internationally and is in permanent collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Deste Foundation (New York/Athens). Books include ‘In Memoriam’ (distributed by Cornerhouse ISBN 0946652562).
Image credit: Buffet Menu (Villa Cross Tavern)© Darryl GeorgiouArtwork/ text intervention (mediated artefact).