Common Knowledge

October 19, 2012 at 11:39 am Leave a comment

 

Jacques Nimki – Common Knowledge

14 March 2012 – 2 September 2013

Common Knowledge is based on Tooting Common, a 221 acre site within Wandsworth. It will use as its foundation the ecological significance of the site, both in terms of wildlife habitats and plant species, together with the cultural history to tell its story to the local community and visitors alike. The project seeks to unlock the heritage secrets of the site and draw on a heritage that stretches back before the 1870s when it was changed from primarily agricultural use to that of recreation.

Common Knowledge seeks to restore the hidden heritage of this unique public space in London, and give it a voice in the community.  A team of volunteers drawn from local residents will become  “Guardians of the Common Knowledge”  (GOCKs) who will work with artist Jacques Nimki  to create a programme of workshops, events, tours, alternative signage, maps and apps that will unfold across the Common during the next 18 months.

When we look at place in relation to people, we can see clearly that a place should not be seen as independent as bounded and as separate from other places.  A plot of land may indeed be a line drawn on a map, separated by roads and defined by colour, a place is defined by the people who use it and how they use it and why Places should be seen as open; that is, as receptive to ideas, people and power relations, extending way beyond them.” (D Massey, ‘Spatial Divisions of Labour’ 1995)

In all parks or common areas, such as Tooting common, returning users form habitual behavior, arrive at a particular time, park in the same place and walk in a certain direction, usually accessing what is officially made available – the café, the duck-pond, the path, the pool, the play area etc. Others, more casual users tend to interact with the common in a different way, To escape, walk and think, to make love and drink, to celebrate cultural or family events, and to play games and roam, the choices numerous, arbitrary and in many cases one off.  In addition, the common is also more than the people who use it or how it is thought of as a place situated in time. It is also home to thousands of species of flora and fauna that exist in a hidden history of their own making, living and growing in spaces that are usually unexplored and in most cases generally ignored. “(Jacques Nimki)

Jacques Nimki works from and within the urban landscape, using mainly weeds and flowers as a way of exploring how we preceive others and ourselves within particular environments. He works in a variety of media including painting, drawing, installation and education and research projects.

Exhibitions and commissions include ‘Charter of the Forest: the Collection’, Lincoln 2011, Tatton Park Biennial 2009, ‘Offsite’, Ikon Gallery 2007, Camden Arts Centre 2004 and a recent project at Compton Verney ‘s ‘Summer Space’.

Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and developed in partnership with London Borough of Wandsworth.

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