Sarah Hardacre’s recent body of work presents a series of collages that appropriate photographs of Salford tower blocks and images cut from second hand pornographic magazines. While the subject matter of these works is, in the main, the voluptuous landscape of the female body overlaying the phallic like uprising of the modern, concrete inner city skyline; these pieces are far from being a feminist critique. Rather, they can be viewed as a biographical fetishism of the artist, a juxtaposition of the dehumanising elements of the architectural surroundings of her home with the very human act of physical sensuality and eroticism. The themes emerging from Sarah’s collages explore various systems of control: on a local level; in the geography of the urban built environment, and on a more universal level; in the psychology of power relationships within sexuality.
Drawing on the utopian ideologies of modernist architecture, the tower block backgrounds reference the social engineering of urban regeneration and housing redevelopment schemes and the effects of such projects in constructing how public and private spaces are occupied and used. Contrastingly, the sexual and erotic content seeks to investigate a strictly individualised world of control, of fetish and fantasy, desire and deviancy, submission and domination.
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“To humanise huge structures by architectural means is an unrewarding task.” Walter Segal, 1980
Sarah Hardacre’s work presents a series of collages and photo screen prints that reveal images from local history archives and clippings from second hand gentleman’s magazines. While the subject matter of these works is, in the main, the voluptuous landscape of the female body overlaying the phallic like uprising of the modern, concrete skyline; these pieces are far from being a feminist critique.
Rather, they can be viewed as a biographical fetishism of the artist, a juxtaposition of the dehumanising elements of the architectural surroundings of her home with the very human act of physical sensuality. Enacting in her practice a considered exploration of Salford’s Post-industrial landscape.
“My practice is a preoccupation with Modernism as a legacy of the welfare state and how concrete and class came to be connected. Investigating the political contexts of Britain’s high-rise housing experiments and the desires to build a brave new society based on the Utopian ideals of European projects and the revolutionary potential of domestic architecture. Moreover, I am concerned with how corners were cut between the triangle of private financiers, local authorities and hypnotized town planners to knock up social housing at high volume and low quality which caused such vast architectural differences between the classes that post-war town planner Thomas Sharp described the estates developing in the 1940s and 50’s ‘Social Concentration Camps’ (1).
The interests informing my practice broaden themselves into research of Mass Observation, a project that sought to record the effects of migrating communities from the industrial era slums moved out to new cottage style estates on suburban land. My work holds a personal questioning of the role of women within this new futuristic world of the home, specifically within the context of forever ‘re-generated’ working class communities.
The Modern inner-city skyline has become a symbol of unattainable wealth out of reach from suburban towers. My praxis engages with the current discourse in Class Politics and links to Architecture, the ideals of socialist architecture and the philosophies of the Architects’ Revolutionary Council (ARC). While my practice is based in collage and print, the future visions for my work take architectural subjects as direct materials and progress my experience of engaging communities in creative processes.”