BORDERS TEXTILE TOWERHOUSE
THURSDAY 27 – SUNDAY 30 APRIL
11:00 – 16:00 / 21′ (looped)
This film is also available to enjoy with Audio Description online throughout the Festival (27 – 30 April).
by Rachael Disbury
Marta Adamowicz and Robert Motyka’s audiovisual artwork, City of Homes, is an outcome of their residency with Art27 Scotland, in which they worked closely with Polish communities in Edinburgh, as part of Culture Collective. Using sound, interviews, animation, collage and video projection, the work explores and presents lived experiences of migration and complex notions of belonging, while questioning the link between the geography of place and the concept of home.
Adamowicz and Motyka invited participants to make lino cuts of buildings that provoked emotions associated with the word ‘home’. The resulting artworks featured vast and diverse responses, which the artists then worked into an audiovisual live performance, with projection-mapped imagery and a soundscape created from fragments of collected interviews. The result was shown in the Southside Community Centre in Edinburgh, and filmed to create this subsequent moving-image work, which features the added layer of the audience we see in the frame – the participants from whose lived experiences these sounds and images take meaning.
The vocal fragments included in the piece vary in perspective and interpretation, ruminating on which criteria are relevant to solidify where home is, and conjuring the conclusion that home itself is an expanded and dual concept. Several accounts reflect on the idea that home is inside each of us, multiple and diverse. A hopeful thought for communities in Edinburgh, in any city or town, that our places and populations hold so many homes.
The formal and conceptual qualities, as well as the gently-paced layering of images and fragmented text, speak to the wider themes of the work – the fluidity of home, the concept of plural identities, the vibrantly collaged nature of community. In the centre of City of Homes’s composition is a door. Among the shifting and changing elements which pull us in various directions throughout the piece, the door is our constant anchor, and reveals the fabric of the community centre in which the participants sit, rooted in that moment to this place. It is a dimension to which the exhibition context at Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival 2023 adds further texture, presenting the work as a projection onto the interior brick of Borders Textile Towerhouse’s barrel vault.