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Plan View: Fourfold

David Fryer invites fellow artist Tim Mitchell to turn his high-rise flat into a unique interactive artwork

This month, David Fryer will be turning his high-rise council flat into an interactive space created by fellow artist Tim Mitchell. Exploring the notion of "Home" and the nagging displacement felt by most right-thinking individuals in modern society Plan view: Fourfold promises to give viewers an experience of the domestic world from the inside out, and pose some fundamental questions about space and how we define our place within it. We caught up with both the artists to find out more...

Dazed Digital: What made you turn your home into a canvas?
David Fryer:
The artist Tim Mitchell used to live here with me, and I had the idea of exhibiting all the people who have ever lived in this flat so that they could return and re-interpret the experience.

DD: Do you think of 'the home' as a construct – would you say our heritage as a species is generally more nomadic in nature?
Home is a construct that offers us a notion of security, although this notion has been exploited – in the same way we persecute those like Gypsies who still attempt to live the nomadic lifestyle. Tim has travelled in his mind and body since he lived here and the show can only add to that journey.

DD: When you talk of inanimate objects such as 'discarded furnishings' having their own story, what do you mean? It could be argued they have no meaning other than that which the viewer endows them with couldn't it?
 In a simplistic way we can see certain traces left from where these elements originated – a West Ham motif stuck to a bedside cabinet, the scent of mothballs ingrained in wooden drawers, carpet left with the impressions from furniture. These are the hints towards the universal qualities of lived-in space that humanise inanimate objects.

DD:What is the purpose of the show, what do hope those who engage with it will take away from it?
 My flat has always been somewhere I have escaped too from the the city, as I feel the public arena is negated and prescribed. It is an attempt to make the home into a public space, to make your inside out and your outside in. People will leave a trace of themselves upon leaving.

DD:What inspired the idea?
I was working with Tim at The Photographers Gallery and I just felt he needed to continue his art practice. We talked about an idea I once had about swapping views by filming out of the window and then projecting them onto another window in another tower block and, as he doesn’t live in a tower block, I asked if he wanted to make an installation with the memory of home as a starting point.

DD:Can you tell us more about the 'fragile construction of the present' that the intervention hopes to expose? Some would say that the present is very intricately constructed indeed from a vast historical network of cause and effect, on both an individual psychological level and macrocosmic level?
: Many of my interventions have taken place within the street. I suppose in a way I was always asking, 'What is it that makes artists take to the streets and attempt to get something down?' Whether this manifests itself on a physical level by making structures or through making marks such as performance, posters or graffiti. In my practice, the sites chosen have stemmed from a desire to interact with specific places that have moved me on an emotional level – a want to grab hold of an ever-shifting present which is made up of many gestures, yet is bigger than one. Of course, as soon as an action takes place the present has been altered and interfered with, and a new present is constructed. Here, at David's home, my emotional construct of the space is very much set in the past from my time living here. The energy of the rooms are unavoidably charged with the city view and my particular state of mind at that time. By carpeting the floors and trying to remove some of that view, I'm attempting to alter that energy away from the isolation that it's position can create. The intervention is a fragile action, another moment in the history of the building.

DD: Does this show have a political edge, in that it could be said to be exploring the notion of property as much as it is exploring ideas about the home and personal space?
 I have lived here since 2000 and the flat is council run. I believe in housing as a right and never really wanted to own a property. Council stock has been sold off and never replaced, the money was taken by the banks and not put back into the system for people.

Plan view: Fourfold takes place from May 24 – June 3. Contact to arrange an appointment to see the show
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