Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Laurie Grove Baths event at Goldsmiths

An interesting event coming up tomorrow night (Thursday 15 June 2017, 5:30 to 8:30)  at Goldsmiths focused on the Laurie Grove Baths. This building hosted swimming pools and public washhouses for a hundred years or so before it closed in 1991 and was taken over by Goldsmiths, for among other things, artist studio space. I've written about its history here before. More recently I came across this tragic episode-

'Dives To Death In Baths

Large crowds at Laurie Grove Baths, New Cross, London, saw Arthur William Burgess, 29, of Biggin Hill, Kent, dive to his death. Burgess climbed to the top diving board, piunged into 6ft. of water and struck his head on the bottom. Mr. A. J. Gould, baths attendant, of Deptford, dived fully clothed and brought Burgess to the surface. Artificial respiration was administered, but Burgess was dead when he was examined at hospital in Deptford' (The Newcastle Sun, New South Wales, 18 Nov 1952)

'Slippages and Water Matters: Inheritances of the Laurie Grove Baths

Slippages and Water Matters is an exhibition opening with panel discussion followed by drinks and snacks. It marks the launch of Water Cultures - a series of public work on the urban sociology of water, organised by the Centre for Urban and Community Research. Slippages is an exhibition co-curated by the Feminist Methods Masterclass. It features work by Katerina Athanasopoulou, Yani B, Ama Josephine Budge, Hari Byles, Clare Daly, Chloe Turner, and Santiago Rivas.

Over the years the Laurie Grove Baths has been used as a place for washing, swimming, dancing, playing music, wrestling, boxing, bowling, fine art, and urban research. In this exhibition we immerse ourselves in work which exposes and explores slippages; institutional, emotional, social, historic. This collection of collaborative work speaks about the slippery qualities of inheritances such as these, and the ways that humans, non-humans, materials and things have occupied, subverted and transformed them. How do we continue to do so?

Exploring topics from gender, to mental health, ecologies, colonial legacies,  knowledge production, graffiti, and more, we occupy toilets, waiting rooms, and stairwells. The panel discussion will feature:

- Les Back, talking about his work on the local history of The Baths;
- Sophie Watson, discussing her research elsewhere in London on water as material for public space, 
- Alison Rooke in conversation with the authors of the installations.

The event will be followed by drinks upstairs in the Council Room.

Water Cultures is a series of collaborative public work, organised and supported by CUCR on the urban sociology of water'.

The event will take place in  Laurie Grove Baths, 21 Laurie Grove, London SE14 6NH.

credit : Francisco Calafate-Faria

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