12 July 2016
The Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground
04 – 30 July 2016
This installation project by artist Fran Cottell and architect Marianne Mueller reflects on the Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground as the dream site for Jeremy Bentham’s experimental panopticon, the real Millbank Penitentiary, a military parade ground and now university campus, outdoor gallery and thoroughfare to Tate Britain.
From solitary confinement, to the military organisation of a group as a single unit to today’s neoliberal forms of sociability, the social history of the Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground represents a cross section through architecture’s power to orchestrate social modes.
The intervention re-enacts a scaled version of the prison’s infamous plan, editing and reinterpreting it into a more socially active figure: a flower shaped bench. Each of the six pentagons or petals – originally shaped to facilitate social control and designated for solitary confinement – now invites informal gathering. The intervention plays with ideas of exclusion and segregation while offering a generous place within the larger barren square.
Generating and disrupting the social activity framed by the square this project builds
on a series of previous intervention projects by Fran Cottell and Marianne Mueller into domestic and institutional spaces for CGPLondon and the Architectural Association; the focus shifting from a relationship between visitors and inhabitants to between moving and static participation, occupations and activities to more unpredictable conditions and outcomes.
04 Jul – 30 Jul 2016
Monday to Friday 0800-2100, Saturday and Sunday 0930-1920
The Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground Chelsea College of Arts
University of the Arts London
16 John Islip Street
London SW1P 4JU