Urban Notations [Barbican], is part of a long-term research on urbanity. It presents an analysis of the city based on experience. The artist makes use of the situationist technique of roaming and immersing herself into the flows of the city and their photographic notation. Using the technique of superimposing, Hommelheim emphasizes the multiplicity of contemporary urbanity, a condition that cannot be reduced to a system of signs but is rather understood as an expression of the performative production of everday life.
Urban Notations [Barbican] is a project about and exhibited within the Barbican Estate. The name ‘Barbican’ comes from the Low Latin word ‘Barbecana’ which referred to a fortified outpost, gateway or outer defence of a city or castle. The Barbican Estate was built between 1971 and 1982 and designed by the architects Chamberlin, Powell and Bon, a rare examples of Brutalist style in Britain. The artist is wandering through this large scale estate - a city within the city - notating her impressions using the camera.
For her exhibition, Ruth Hommelsheim has produced a spatial installation where the film-like movement through this particular part of the city is brought back into one of its spaces: a photographic ribbon equivalent to a 35mm film emerges and is traced across the walls of the exhibition space in the heart of the Estate.