Jerusalem was dreamt up on a Spring afternoon over tapas in Kreuzberg. With a protest brewing in the background, we talked about the modernist enclave we’d seen at Hansaviertel and of the various digressions we had undertaken through the English countryside and European cities in order to see specific buildings. We had jokingly dubbed these journeys ‘pilgrimages’ given the reverence with which we approached spaces we had only previously encountered in photographs. Realising that many of our most heartfelt encounters with art had taken place outside the gallery context, we recognised a need for work which transcended the confines of exhibition-making. We decided there and then to initiate a project that brought together our two passions: art and architecture.
We conceived the project as a travelling residency in which we invite artists to select a site or building of particular interest to them. They should be free to use the time however they chose; to research for future projects, to reiterate a previous work or to create an entirely new object, situation or moment. A note on our title, Jerusalem, which has occasioned some perplexity. We took it from the eponymous poem by William Blake, in reference to our search for a higher moment through art as we traversed the English countryside. I will not cease from Mental Fight, nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand, till we have built...
For the first chapter of Jerusalem, which took place in August 2012, participating artists were: Dennis McNulty, Francesco Pedraglio and Cara Tolmie. Our journey was launched with a performance by Francesco in a former pie and eel shop before we journeyed north to Denys Lasdun’s University of East Anglia, Norwich; south to Dedham Vale, the green and pleasant land favoured by Constable; further south to Folkestone, where a lecture on architectural form was delivered whilst in the sea; west to Margate, where Francesco’s final performance was delivered in the rooms of the Walpole Bay Hotel and finally to Lenham Quarry, a golden dust bowl nestled in the heart of Kent.
While the works live on in the minds of those who experienced them, we felt it important that we communicate the magic of the Jerusalem project to those who could not be there. While we can never faithfully recreate performance through documentation, this website attempts to convey the transformative potential of art in these architectural spaces and landscapes.
Claire Feeley and Ciara Moloney