Adelita Husni-Bey
Clays Lane Live Archive

Adelita Husni-Bey
Clays Lane Live Archive


Clays Lane Live Archive material (circa 1990). Courtesy M. Jackson.
August 13, 2012
Adelita Husni-BeyClays Lane Live Archive

14–19 August 2012

31 Temple Street
London. E2 6QQ
Hours: open daily 12–6pm

Bethnal Green Library
1 Cambridge Heath Road
London E2 0HL

Guest curator: Shama Khanna

The presentation of the Clays Lane Live Archive at Supplement and the Bethnal Green Library marks the culmination of a four-year long research project by Adelita Husni-Bey curated into an exhibition and events programme by guest Curator Shama Khanna. The archive maps the history of the Clays Lane housing co-operative built in 1982 through to its demolition in 2007 ahead of the regeneration work planned for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The exhibition is a timely platform for the presentation of materials collected by the former-residents of Clays Lane and Husni-Bey from before and after the eviction process began. The exhibition highlights the disparity between the lives of housing co-operative’s residents compared to the weight of power and accompanying rhetoric of ‘faster, stronger, higher’ which arrived in East London in the form of the Olympic juggernaut. Recalling TS Elliot’s poetry, the language used by the Olympic Development Authority spoke of the site of the Clays Lane estate as ‘a wasteland’ ripe for investment and development. This ideologically undemocratic attitude sets up a hierarchy between the indiscriminate power of capital and the contributions of a community defined, at best, as invisible.

The exhibition features material from the collections of former-residents including; zines and ephemera donated by the band Dead Dog Mountain formed by residents of the co-operative in the late 1980s, John Sole’s technical drawings of the estate made by counting the bricks along each side of the co-operative buildings; Julian Cheyne’s minute documentation of the members’ collective challenge to the compulsory purchase order registered in 2007 alongside documentation of social events and a series of personal testimonies by ‘Clays Laners’ filmed by Theo Berton.

The accompanying free events programme at Bethnal Green Library includes a round table discussion about the privatisation of public space, a participatory workshop, a walk through an Olympic borderland, a meeting of former Clays Lane residents and the campaigning group Gamesmonitor, and a play by Husni-Bey conceived of and acted by former-resident Dexter Hanoomansingh. The exhibition and events which form the Clays Lane Live Archive constitute acts of resistance which have lasting vitality as the claims of the Games’ Legacy await to be proven.

Following the exhibition the Clays Lane Live Archive will be housed at Bishopsgate Institute, London, EC2.

For more details please click here.
To reserve a place at the free events please email [email protected]

Adelita Husni-Bey (born Milan, 1985) is an artist and researcher. After studying Fine Art at Chelsea school of Arts & Design, she obtained an MA in Sociology & Urban Cultures at Goldsmiths University. Her current research involves autonomy, Micro-utopias, pirate-utopias, the ‘Land Issue’, collective memory (the production of), dissent and control, anarchist pedagogy and free-schools. Recent exhibitions and awards include: ‘TRACK – A Contemporary City Conversation’, S.M.A.K museum, curated by Mirjam Varadinis and Philippe Van Cauteren, Ghent, ‘Right to Refusal’ curated by Eva Kraus and Doreen Mende, Magazin4/ Kunstverein Bregenz, Bregenz, ‘A Holiday from Rules’ by Vincenzo De Bellis, MACRO Museum, Rome. Awards and grants include: British Council Grant for Artists Abroad, Ratti Foundation Residency with Hans Haacke, 2012 Young Collector Prize/ MAXXI Museum acquisition, Rome, Independent Study Program (ISP), Whitney Museum, New York.

Shama Khanna (born 1981, Nairobi) is a curator and writer based in London. She is the curator of the thematic programme at Oberhausen Film Festival 2013. Over the course of her career she has presented projects at Showroom, E:vent gallery, Tate and Lux/ ICA Biennial of Moving Image in London, Spike Island in Bristol, Iaspis in Umeå, Kunstverein Muenchen and with e-flux, Performa and MoMA PS1 in New York City. She writes for Frieze and Mousse magazines as well as numerous independent publications. She teaches at Chelsea College, University of the Arts London and is a participant on the 2012/2013 Curatorlab at Konstfack, Stockholm.

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August 13, 2012

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