LGP presented OUR SHADOW CODEX, an exhibition by Rhona Warwick and Toby Paterson that formulated multiple renditions of the city. Paterson and Warwick collected, recorded, imagined, produced and ordered material to create a study of the city, which discloses its ideological and symbolic structures.
There will be no formal opening and the gallery will be a public construction site while the installation is assembled, printed and arranged.
Paterson and Warwick have designed a functional structure which gestures to the architectural and sculptural and is modeled from the motif of a disappeared 1960 gable-end wall rendering on Coventry’s former City Architect and Planning Office building. It is built with OSB board and finished with a palette of flat colours. The structure will hold a paper archive and be the stage for performances, screenings and talks.
The archive is a mechanism to re-imagine, excavate and invent the political histories and cultures of the city. The material has been generated from Coventry’s existing, unrealised and lost architecture, its official and furtive archive collections, fiction, mythologies, observations and theory. Assimilated within the installation, it crafts a complex constellation which follows the logic of a city – stuttered gestures disrupting a gleaming seduction, lucidity wrangling with utopian corpses, the monumental deputising to twisted rhythms, images and dirt. The display of the material, photocopied and printed cheap-as-chips on newsprint, and the uncertified and perhaps uncollectable status of its content, questions and dismantles the power hierarchy and value systems attributed to institutional collecting and preservation of history.
The paper archive is punctuated with Paterson’s exquisitely executed paintings, which create a compelling set of relations with the cheapjack production of the archive. The paintings pull apart the political, material and historical conditions of Coventry’s post-war buildings and were produced from an earlier research trip to Coventry in 2004.
The structure invites a shifting navigation of space and archive. This composition is immured by a dense graphic rendering of the Coventry Climax Engine; a permanent steely pattern that arouses the heaving industrial rhythms that ruled the city.
OUR SHADOW CODEX is a mercurial lyrical blueprint of a city and an orientation device. Its proposition will elaborate and unfold through a programme of talks, performances and screenings throughout the exhibition period.