Heygate




‘[There now exists a] single flood of images, a single regime of universal exhibition; and this regime itself [constitutes] the intolerable today’.
      Jacques Ranciere 'The Emancipated Spectator’.


Every image belongs to a system of representation – it is a form of fiction. The more anticipated or predictable an image, the less agency it has.
Sometimes it is futile to hope that an image does more than serve our voyeuristic appetite for spectacle. This spectacle conforms to a particular rhetoric, the image fulfilling an expected representation. The Heygate estate in Elephant and Castle is a place depicted as being either violent or melancholy – a ruined estate, all concrete with steel blinkers. 

In this film, images of Heygate are flashed on the screen in a repetitive stutter, none held quite long enough to differentiate it from another, each undermining the power of the next, and all becoming a light mass, almost bleached to white – a void pregnant with representations.
A man moves along a walkway, perceptible yet ghostly under, over, under the flicker of other equal and countless pictures.

We do not hear the sound of community as there once was, nor multiple contemporary debates about its regeneration. While political images are sped-up to abstraction and whiteness in the film, the sound of a political debate is slowed down and forms its own, white, noise. Along with this sound, we hear recordings from Elephant and Castle’s shopping centre and surrounding area, a reminder that everyday life continues, under, over, under the debates and representations.

But this film is hypocritical – it is yet another representation of Heygate. 








Six Images
While visiting Heygate to take notes and photographs for this project, I was tempted to make images of peeling wallpaper, dark stairwells and slabs of concrete, despite continually feeling frustrated that they would simply represent and repeat Heygate’s stereotype as a violent or melancholy place. These six images are examples of this stereotype, and it was from them, and this feeling of frustration, that the film was made.






























Becca Voelcker, BA Art Practice
Alex Morrison, MA Contemporary Art Theory
Francesco Sebregondi, MA Research Architecture

Goldsmiths, University of London