Friday, 17 July 2015

Homeless City Ads Selected for Art Habens Review of Contemporary Art 2015

Following the recent success in being selected and exhibited as part of the Big Noise Festival Photography Competition, the Homeless CityAds project has been selected through an open international call to be included in Art Habens Review of Contemporary Art 2015.

According to Art Habens “this year’s edition will focus on a recurrent paradox in contemporary art: the vague and ambiguous but thoroughly entrenched boundaries between the different practices of new media”. They continue “In particular it will engage with artists dealing with process-driven changes in our society, who pair their observations with new media technologies to produce their art projects.”

About RT Habens: ART Habens aims to engage artists, curators and gallerists in conversation about the role of Art in contemporary society. Inspired by the worldwide art scene, we highlight that art is an essential element in our lives: ART Habens reserves a special place to explore these transformations; first, by acknowledging the energy and effort that goes into the creation of art, and second, by investigating the new life a work takes on as it is transferred from artist to world.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Homeless City Ads Picture wins runner up place in the Big Noise Festival's Photo Competition

A photograph of a well-known rough sleeper spot near Waterloo Bridge, one of a series of six, won 2nd place in the Big Noise Festival's Photography competition and will be exhibited as part of the festival on Saturday 13th June at the Coronet in Elephant and Castle, London.



The photo which mixes the image of a rough sleeper place at the edge of the Thames with a series of icons from the Homeless City Guide was taken by art group Hydra Projects.

Kevin Andrews one of the founders of Hydra Projects said “the photo was edited to look like a picture from an accommodation listing website like Gumtree or Where to Sleep. A description was then added drawn from the publicity material for the nearby Savoy Hotel”. The photo is an attempt to point to the irony of the close location of rough sleeper places and five star hotels. Andrews continues “it’s the kind of thing we take for granted in modern cities because we have become numb to it. The photograph tries to question that numbness.”

The text accompanying the photo states:

“2 bed accommodation near the Waldorf Hilton, Aldwych

Explore London's West End from this unusual accommodation close to the iconic Waldorf Hilton hotel in Theaterland, 5 minutes' walk from fantastic shopping in Covent Garden. Dine in style next to the River Thames, de-stress with the wide open vistas or even go for a refreshing dip.  Visit top London attractions within a mile radius of this central London accommodation, including the London Eye and Trafalgar Square or enjoy a the bustle of theaterland. Situated where the city meets the West end the accommodation is perfect for business or leisure travelers alike.

Main facts:
- Good food thrown away here
- Potential for work
- Dangerous neighborhood
- An attack happened here
- Message board nearby
- Good place to drink and smoke"

This Homeless City Guide is a regular feature of the magazine Pavement. This is a language invented for homeless people. The idea being that they use it to communicate with one another about features of the city. The icons were designed by Emily Read and Chen Hsu in 2007. Their work is described as a modern day version of the centuries old language of the Hobo Code, as they say “The homeless can use this series of simple symbols to communicate with each other about safety, shelter, and free food by inscribing them with chalk on sidewalks, buildings, and other surfaces”. But according to Andrews the language is not used. He says “this isn't very surprising; it’s based on a romantic notion of what homelessness is”.

Asked whether the adverts posted on accommodation websites received many replies Andrews says “Not really, they were never on long enough to attract that much attention”. Somehow Gumtree and other sites were able to spot the ads quite quickly and remove them and block me from posting more.” He says “I had more success with postcards that I made up and placed at the locations, they all went very quickly and I think provide a lasting record of the work”. The project also has its own fake accommodation listing website where people can book accommodation online.

The photo was chosen from hundreds submitted to the competition run in aid of the Big Issue Foundation.  The selection panel included actress and photographer, Kat Prescott, Stephen Robertson, CEO of The Big Issue Foundation, Spencer Rowell of Uncertain States and Eleanor Wemyss and Carla Sinclair of The Big Noise Festival.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Saturday, 10 August 2013


Homeless City Ads selected for the Photo and Print OpenSalon 2013 Charlie Dutton Gallery


A photograph of a well-known rough sleeper spot under Waterloo Bridge, one of a series of
six, has been selected as one of the works to be shown as part of the Photo and Print Open
Salon 2013 at the Charlie Dutton Gallery in London’s Holborn. The photo which mixes the
image of a rough sleeper place at the edge of the Thames with a series of icons from the
Homeless City Guide was taken by art group Hydra Projects.

Kevin Andrews one of the founders of Hydra Projects said “the photo was edited to look like
a picture from an accommodation listing website like Gumtree or Where to Sleep. A
description was then added drawn from the publicity material for the nearby Savoy Hotel”.
The photo is an attempt to point to the irony of the close location of rough sleeper places
and five star hotels. Andrews continues “it’s the kind of thing we take for granted in modern
cities because we have become numb to it. The photograph tries to question that
numbness.”

The text accompanying the photo states:

“2 bed accommodation near the Savoy Hotel, London

Underneath the iconic Waterloo Bridge and sharing the same views as the landmark Savoy
Hotel this accommodation has an enviable location on the River Thames. The spot is literally
steps away from some of the world’s finest theatres, museums and opera houses. Its
proximity to the City means you will be ideally placed whether you are in London for business
or pleasure or both.”

The icons that appear on the photograph are drawn from the Homeless City Guide. From
left to right they read:
- A good place to sleep
- Good food is thrown away here
- Potential for work
- Message board near here
- Friendly place
- Good place to drink and smoke

This Homeless City Guide is a regular feature of the magazine Pavement. This is a language
invented for homeless people. The idea being that they use it to communicate with one
another about features of the city. The icons were designed by Emily Read and Chen Hsu in
2007. Their work is described as a modern day version of the centuries old language of the
Hobo Code, as they say “The homeless can use this series of simple symbols to communicate
with each other about safety, shelter, and free food by inscribing them with chalk on
sidewalks, buildings, and other surfaces”. But according to Andrews the language is not
used. He says “this isn't very surprising; it’s based on a romantic notion of what
homelessness is”.

Asked whether the adverts posted on accommodation websites received many replies
Andrews says “Not really, they were never on long enough to attract that much attention”.
Somehow Gumtree and other sites were able to spot the ads quite quickly and remove them
and block me from posting more.” He says “I had more success with postcards that I made
up and placed at the locations, they all went very quickly and I think provide a lasting record
of the work”.

The photo was chosen from hundreds submitted to the Photo and Print Open Salon 2013 at
Charlie Dutton Gallery, now in its second year. This year’s selection panel featured John
Stezaker (known for his collages of Hollywood stars) and Gallerist and Collector Julia
Muggenburg (Belmacz) as well as Charlie Dutton and Kate Saffin of the Charlie Dutton
Gallery.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Thank you for using the Homeless City Guide

This project uses photographs of rough sleeper places in central London. It combines these with the icons from the Homeless City Guide. This is a language invented for homeless people. The idea being that they use it to communicate with one another. The icons appear as a regular feature of the magazine The Pavement.

The icons were designed by Emily Read and Chen Hsu in 2007. Their work is described as follows:

2 bed accommodation near the Savoy Hotel, London


Underneath the iconic Waterloo Bridge and sharing the same enviable views as the landmark Savoy Hotel this accommodation has an enviable location on the River Thames. The spot is literally steps away from some of the world’s finest theaters  museums and opera houses. Its proximity to the City means you will be ideally placed whether you are in London for business or pleasure or both.

- A good place to sleep
- Good food is thrown away here
- Potential for work
- Message board near here
- Friendly place
- Good place to drink and smoke

Listed on Where to Sleep as:

http://www.wheretosleep.com/london-GB44418/house/H549990767