[re]locate

Tahera Aziz

30 April 2009 to 2 May 2009

198 Contemporary Arts & Learning

‘never to take the tedious task of waiting for a bus for granted.’

(What Stephen Lawrence Has Taught Us by Benjamin Zephaniah)

[re]locate is a sonic installation revisiting an ordinarily public ‘place’ that retains the traces of a deeply significant event; it is concerned with the processes involved in struggling to preserve the memory of that event whilst offering new insights. The impetus for the work flows from the tragic events surrounding the racially motivated murder of 18-year-old Stephen Lawrence near a bus stop in south London in 1993, and the deep impact this has had publicly particularly following the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry into the police handling of the murder investigation, and its subsequent lack of resolution.
Taking the notion of the daily routine of waiting at the bus stop as its starting point, [re]locate explores the disruption of the everyday, to foreground the event once again, highlighting detailed elements that have particular resonance. On entering the space the audience members assume the role of ‘pedestrians’ or ‘passers-by’, guiding the unfolding of the sonic events. Depending on their movements within the installation, they unravel the multi-layered elements, recounted from different perspectives or time frames of significance to the case. Essentially, the audience rediscover fragments that bear witness to the event that has long since past, but still demands closure.
Tahera Aziz has had a longstanding creative and political interest in identity, migration and racism. She has produced photo-based and installation work that explores how wider socio-political issues or events can impact on the individual to shape their experiences, and their sense of self and belonging. Motivated by a desire to explore the potential of sound to re-examine events associated with the Stephen Lawrence case, Aziz has developed [re]locate with funding from the Arts Council of England and the Arts and Humanities Research Council, in partnership with London South Bank University and PVA MediaLab. The preview celebrates the creative outcomes of the research and marks a transition of the work into a form for public viewing and response. [re]locate will continue to evolve in each of its new locations and spaces, with audience responses being integral to the process.