Blurred lines: Yuri Pattison questions the viability of live/work spaces

 Yuri Pattison
Chisenhale Gallery in east London presents a new commission from Yuri Pattison called 'user, space', in association with community-focused creative agency Create. Pictured: installation view
(Image credit: Andy Keate)

At first glance, Chisenhale Road near Mile End is unassuming and suburban. Look a little closer and it becomes a lively corner of east London's vibrant artistic community. Earlier this year, Wallpaper* visited Chisenhale Primary School, where Asif Khan created his space-making double-decker playground. Now, we return to the street, to explore its decommissioned warehouse-turned-exhibition space, which has been filled with an extraordinary installation from London-based artist – and 2016 Frieze Artist Award winner – Yuri Pattison.

Like Khan's playground, Pattison's work considers the city's evolving use of space. 'London is being strangled,' the artist says, reflecting on his exhibition the morning after it opened. 'Particularly for hobbyists, craftsmen and technologists. The way we are using our city is changing.'

We're living in the age of transparency, Pattison believes, and privacy is being disrupted. London today brims with open-plan offices, live/work spaces and glass walls; when we finally do close the doors, we turn to our social media networks and break down the barriers virtually. Pattison's new commission – the result of a two-year residency with community-focused art agency Create – uses digital media and sculpture to critically address this transparency and what it means for London's future.

During his research, Pattison ingratiated himself in a skill-sharing, grassroots workspace called London Hackspace. 'Their workshop is a stark environment, but the personal, creative projects scattered within the space give it a warmth. I wanted to emulate this at Chisenhale.' To do so, he employed harsh lighting, industrial shelving units and rows of empty plastic crates, but provided moments of respite with a green plant garden and two paintings that look like works-in-progress. It's as if he has transformed Chisenhale Gallery from a contemporary exhibition space back into the working warehouse it once was. 'I wanted it to feel like a place in transition,' explains Pattison, 'so I left the Eames-replica chairs in their packaging.' Instruction manuals for the furniture's construction are upturned for viewers to peruse like bleak artworks.

What's more, abstract films on screens of varying size are dispersed throughout the room. They showcase a variety of futuristic, experimental live/work spaces – often plush, luxurious and attractive, in contrast with the unsettled, cold room they're displayed in.

Whether Pattison is criticising or encouraging London's increasingly transparent nature is part of this exhibition's mystique. Either way, the artist is engaging with one of today's most prescient issues, and provides a fascinating insight behind the translucent screen of London's tech-city.

Yuri Pattison


(Image credit: Andy Keate)

Pattison's work considers the city's evolving use of space. 'London is being strangled,' the artist says, reflecting on his exhibition the morning after it opened. 'Particularly for hobbyists, craftsmen, technologists and artists.' Pictured: Half relief shelter zone for user, space (hexayurt configuration), 2016

Yuri Pattison

The commission stems from in-depth research into London's Silicon Roundabout (or 'Tech City'), and uses digital media and sculpture to explore the ways in which we live and work in the age of an increasingly online society

(Image credit: Andy Keate)

Yuri Pattison

Throughout the residency, Pattison ingratiated himself in a skill-sharing, grassroots workspace called London Hackspace

(Image credit: Andy Keate)

Yuri Pattison

'Their workshop is a stark environment, but the personal, creative projects scattered within the space give it a warmth. I wanted to emulate this at Chisenhale,' he explains

(Image credit: Andy Keate)

Yuri Pattison

Pattison has employed harsh lighting, industrial shelving units and rows of empty plastic crates, but provided moments of respite with a green plant garden and two paintings that look like works-in-progress

(Image credit: Andy Keate)

Yuri Pattison

'I wanted it to feel like a place in transition,' explains Pattison, 'so I left the Eames-replica chairs in their packaging.' Pictured: Communal table for user, space (detail), 2016

(Image credit: Andy Keate)

INFORMATION

’Yuri Pattison: user, space’ is on view until 28 August. For more information, visit the Chisenhale Gallery website (opens in new tab)

Photography: Andy Keate. Courtesy the artist, mother’s tankstation limited, Dublin; Helga Maria Klosterfelde, Berlin; and Labor, Mexico

ADDRESS

Chisenhale Gallery
64 Chisenhale Road
London, E3 5QZ

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Elly Parsons is the Digital Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees Wallpaper.com and its social platforms. She has been with the brand since 2015 in various roles, spending time as digital writer – specialising in art, technology and contemporary culture – and as deputy digital editor. She was shortlisted for a PPA Award in 2017, has written extensively for many publications, and has contributed to three books. She is a guest lecturer in digital journalism at Goldsmiths University, London, where she also holds a masters degree in creative writing. Now, her main areas of expertise include content strategy, audience engagement, and social media.