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Gesche Würfel

I am a visual artist whose practice is primarily photographic. I engages with spaces in transition through genres of urban, landscape and documentary photography. My interest lies primarily in the notion of place, the relationship humans have to space, the methods employed for changing (in)habitable places, and whetmy tmye are different ways of balancing the future of our society. my photographic work is influenced by my experience as an urban planner, and by having lived in diverse settings, from rural to suburban to urban, across Europe and the United States. These background elements contribute to my site-specific photographic approach, which investigates the politics and aims behind developments.

“Go for Gold!” is an ongoing series of photographs, begun in 2006, that depict the changing landscape of the Lower Lea Valley in London. The Lower Lea Valley is undergoing a massive transformation as its traditional industrial and pastoral landscape is being replaced by the modern economic structures of the 2012 Olympic project. This Olympic project attempts to eliminate all traces of the past and imposes an entirely new reality. Although the Olympic future is still invisible to the naked eye, it is present in the impending Olympic masterplan.

The “Go for Gold!” series highlights this contrast and evokes discordance with images that capture the site’s past while their titles denote the site’s future. “Go for Gold!” critiques the use of regeneration to bolster London’s status as a global economic centre at the expense of the local inhabitants’ needs. “Go for Gold!” started in 2006 and 2007 with a series of images on the sites of future sports venues in the Lower Lea Valley, on the eve of their transformation. These photos capture the last moments of the Lea Valley landscape as it used to be, before it was razed to make way for the Olympics’ international development programme. More recent work focuses on sporting venues in central London and across the nation.

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University of Dortmund (Germany), Goldsmiths, University of London (UK)