Worldwide openings this week

1. Register in order to get a username and a password.
2. Log in with your username and password.
3. Create your announcement online.

08 Dec 2016

Passen-gers – site specific exhibition series, The Brunswick Centre, London

Paula Smolarska The Lounge Lover, the Faker, the Ikea Expert …


02 Dec 2016 – 01 Oct 2017 Fri – Sat, 12–6pm, Sun 12–4pm or by appointment Curated by Julie Hill in collaboration with Gauld Architecture

Julie Hill

110 Foundling Court, The Brunwick Centre Entrance 3, Marchmont Street
WC1N 1AN, London
United Kingdom

Share this announcement on:  |

Passen-gers – a site-specifi c exhibition series at the Brunswick Centre – is pleased to announce The Lounge Lover, the Faker, the Ikea Expert ... by Paula Smolarska.

Architects often design chairs. Designing a chair can be likened to designing a larger structure – albeit on a smaller scale. To Smolarska, this suggests that the body and its relation to the chair can be viewed as a part of a larger pattern: a microcosm through which to perceive our relationship to the built environment.

Smolarska's practice is preoccupied with repetition and multiplicity, and uses these devices to evoke the uncanny and enable an event. The works in this exhibition take this strategy forward in a series of steel sculptures inspired by chair designs from the 1990s such as the MSc chair by Geoffrey Hollington (1994) and Aprile by Piero Lissoni (1996). Both are takes on 1950/60s school chair design. Paring down their aesthetic she conveys their function in the most rational way. En-masse they unsettle the context of the office/exhibition space they inhabit. Alongside these, a series of corresponding photographs are displayed of the artist sitting in other people's chairs. These empathetic, performative acts break the coldness of steel and allow various characters to emerge – the Lounge Lover, the Faker, the Ikea Expert … Through this combination of engagements, Smolarska draws us closer to an understanding of how we exist in architecture.


Paula Smolarska (b.1983, Poland) is a London-based artist working across sculpture and installation. Smolarska's practice is concerned with the intersection of architecture and social structures and the body's potential to support, impose and adapt to a constructed habitat. Smolarska is interested in the structures that we operate ideologically and physically within; their capacity to inspire and reassure, as well as restrict. The inevitable condition of bodily immersion that architecture entails creates a new phenomenological situation that she frequently explores through the lens of Modernist utopian residential housing.

Recent exhibitions include Dialogues on the Threshold, The Crypt Gallery (2016), Other and RCA at ECA with Royal College of Art (2016), Guerrilla Sculpture Park, Art Licks Weekend (2015), Florence Trust Residency (2014). Paula is currently in her second year of MA Sculpture at Royal College of Art. She co-runs the Walkative Society at RCA, which focuses on exploring the urban environment through debate and city wanders.

Passen-gers is a site-specific exhibition series that explores the historical, social and material context of the Brunswick Centre. Artists present work sequentially to explore the real and imaginative associations of the site. The title references the 1975 film The Passenger by Michelangelo Antonioni that uses the Brunswick Centre as a powerful and otherworldly mise-en-scène. The plot follows a journalist who assumes the identity of a dead businessman while working on a documentary in Chad, unaware that he is impersonating an arms dealer with connections to the rebels in the current civil war. This notion of a 'passenger' as someone who inhabits transient identities and spaces, relates to how each artist is rendered a passenger within the larger exhibition structure – a structure that is generative and multi-directional, allowing different ideas, themes and narratives to emerge, overlap and intersect, creating dialogue over time. Future artists include Evy Jokhova and Julie Hill. More to be announced.

The Brunswick Centre is a grade II listed residential and shopping centre designed by Patrick Hodgkinson in the mid-1960s. It's often misinterpreted as Brutalist and likened to a bunker or space-ship from a sci-fi movie set – in contrast to the architect's vision: '…it was to be a village, not a megastructure, and never 'Brutalist', but would rather create a poetic construct of feel and not look…'. In 2006 the Brunswick reopened after extensive renovation works. A spruced-up shopping courtyard now occupies the ground floor while the first floor location of this project continues to bear something of its former 'state of decayed majesty and poetic ruination.'

The exhibitions are hosted and supported by Gauld Architecture to encourage wider discussions about the built environment.