Uncharted Stories

Archive for October, 2009|Monthly archive page

Helen Couchman

In Helen Couchman on October 14, 2009 at 2:07 am

Processes of exchange in the landscapes of urban renewal. What is the significance of what we change, preserve or destroy?


Beijing 2008

My area of research is into the reciprocity and exchange between inhabitants, business, architects and governments who develop land, change cities and thus society’s behaviour. Themes I see as particularly exemplified in the work of anthropologist Marcel Mauss.

A considerable part of our morality and our lives themselves are still permeated with this same atmosphere of the gift, where obligation and liberty intermingle.     …themes of the gift, of the freedom and the obligation inherent in the gift, of the generosity and self-interest that are linked in giving… a dominant motif too long forgotten.
M. Mauss, The Gift, 1950

Last year (2008) for the first time more than fifty percent of the world’s population lived in cities. Currently living in Beijing, my work and research has focused on the changes to the massive urban sprawl that is China’s capital.

I am interested in exploring Utopian ideas of developing communities and what the communities have to relinquish in order to move towards what is frequently promised to be an improved future, but often isn’t. For example, a family is relocated to a modern apartment from an old house that has been used by the family for generations. How is this transition made in terms of the promise held in a new dwelling and what value judgements are made to ease this transition. I am interested in land and cityscape’s where the view is fast changing and in exploring the reasons for, and immediate outcome of, such dramatic changes.

My principal aim is to show how communities decide upon what is to be kept and what is to be discarded in the fabric of their existence. To discover what is kept and what is disregarded in terms of land use and city planning, nostalgia and memory, restoration practice and fantasy landscapes both past and future. In addition I want to provide a theoretical reflection upon the role of the artist in recording and giving an artistic expression to these developments.





Wang Zijun, Bai Xiaoning and Wang Huimin. Portraits from WORKERS 工人,  published 2008


Uncharted Stories Exhibition & Events

In Uncategorized on October 13, 2009 at 8:56 pm

pedro's shoe from poster

A selection of works by Daniel Baker, Pedro Carvalho de Almeida, Helen Couchman, Annabel Dover, Dettie Gould, Sara Angel Guerrero-Rippberger & Rossella Emanuele, Hannah Hurst, Ope Sarah Lori, Catherine Maffioletti, Aaron McPeake, Marcela Montoya-Turnill & Cayetano H. Rios, Idit Nathan, Jane Norris, Deepan Sivaraman, Tansy Spinks, Deborah True, Anna Vickers and Senem Yazan.

Opening Hours:

28 October –› 5 November, 2009

11 am –› 6 pm daily or by appointment, except Sunday

Private View –› 6 – 9 pm October 29


CCW Graduate School Festival

The Triangle Space @ Chelsea College of Art & Design

16 John Islip Street

London, SW1P 4JU


The Triangle Space is a triangular shaped building located on the campus of Chelsea College of Art & Design, opposite the Atterbury Street entrance of the Tate Britain.


2, C10, 36, 77A, 88, 436.


Chelsea College is 5 minutes from Pimlico tube, 10 minutes from Vauxhall tube.

Exhibition Events, Talks & Workshops


Please R.S.V.P. for all events, workshops, and talks by emailing your name and contact information to unchartestories@googlemail.com.


Wednesday 28 October at Camberwell College of Arts, Wilson Road, London, SE5 8LU

The Wilson Road Site at Camberwell College of Arts is a large red-brick converted school building near the corner of Wilson Road and Peckham Road, across the street from St. Giles Church. Bus: 12, 36, 171, 436. Parking is available.

11:30 – 12 pm Space of Fiction: A talk about space, narrative and identity from Carsten Höller’s Double Club, with space design researcher Mariana Pestana.

1:30 – 2:30 pm Space to Space: A talk on experimental theatre and contemporary art with arts researchers Deepan Sivaraman, Idit Nathan and Rossella Emanuele.

3 – 5 pm Memories & Memorabilia: Writing workshop and discussion exploring unconscious memories with arts researcher Hannah Hurst.

5 – 5:45 pm Gender, Race & the Female Body: Discussion with arts researcher Ope Sarah Lori.


Thursday 29 October in the Triangle Space at Chelsea College of Art & Design

11 am — 1 pm Diagrams Backstage: Workshop using design methods to create diagrams and map information, with graphic design researcher Sheila Pontis.

11 am – 1 pm Stretching the Rules: Participative drawing encounter questioning the norms of social interaction, with arts researcher Angela Rogers.

1:30 – 2:30 pm Stardust Memories: Live storytelling on a lost history of objects, with arts researcher Annabel Dover.

2:30 – 3:30 pm Conflict, Play & Visual Arts: Workshop exploring visual archives with arts researchers Idit Nathan and Sara Angel Guerrero-Rippberger.

3:30 – 4:30 pm Uncharted Stories Panel: Open discussion on identity research with Uncharted Stories exhibitors Aaron McPeake, Ope Sarah Lori, Sara Angel Guerrero-Rippberger, Helen Couchman and CCW Research Director Oriana Baddeley.

6 – 9 pm Private View

7:00 – 7:30 pm Sonic Triangle: Live performance by arts researcher Tansy Spinks, inspired by the military history of the Triangle Space.


Saturday 31 October in the Triangle Space at Chelsea College of Art & Design

1:30 – 2 pm Sonic Triangle: Live performance arts researcher by Tansy Spinks, inspired by the military history of the Triangle Space.

2 – 4 pm Exploring a Cultural Archive: Workshop exploring portable imageries and the production of meaning, with design researcher Pedro Carvalho de Almeida.


Monday 2 November in the Triangle Space at Chelsea College of Art & Design

1 – 2 pm Finding a Way: A talk by artist Robson Cezar, Chelsea Foundry Fellow, on his personal story, bronze sculpture and the Brazilian notion of ‘dar um jeitihno’ – to find a way.

2 – 4 pm Exploring a Cultural Archive: Second presentation of workshop exploring portable imageries and the production of meaning with design researcher Pedro Carvalho de Almeida.

4 – 4:30 pm Sonic Triangle: performance by arts researcher Tansy Spinks, inspired by the military history of the the Triangle Space.

4:30 – 5 pm The Art World in Recession: A talk on practical solutions for collaborations between arts researchers and gallerists, with SaLon Contemporary Director Samir Ceric.

5 – 6 pm Visual Politics: Interactive presentation on a visual archive featuring socio-political graphics from Lebanon, with communication design researcher Joanna Choukeir.


Tuesday 3 November in the Triangle Space at Chelsea College of Art & Design

2 – 3 pm Curating Themed Shows on Identity: A talk to inspire identity, community and a lack of orthodoxy in the CCW Graduate School with Catherine Lampert, UAL visiting professor and former director of the Whitechapel Gallery.

3- 3:30 pm Tea

3:30 – 5 pm Open Conversation on the CCW Graduate School Community: A dialogue hosted by CCW Readers Hayley Newman and James Faure Walker, with CCW Fellow Mary Anne Francis.

5 – 5:30 pm Sonic Triangle: Live performance by arts researcher Tansy Spinks, inspired by the military history of the Triangle Space.


Pop Up Gallery


A selection of video work and live performance will be presented in a pop up gallery satellite branch of the Uncharted Stories exhibition, to take place at a surprise location in Central London. Please see http://www.unchartedstories.wordpress.com for updates on venue and schedule of events.