George Charman

Fragments and Formworks: Architectural Possibilities for Edward James’s Archive

The intention of this research project is to utilise through practice, the Edward James archives at West Dean College as a stimulus for dialogic exchange and collaborative making between contemporary art and architecture. Edward James’ position as a poet and patron to the Surrealists is well acknowledged. What is less known and unexplored is James’ discernible artistic impact on contemporary art relating to his contributions to sculpture and experimental architecture evidenced in the archives through the speculative plans, sketches, formwork moulds, and the realised structures James produced throughout his life, specifically relating to the monumental concrete pavilions of Las Pozas in Northern Mexico. By considering the archives from the perspective of research through art practice, inherently open and social in character, this project seeks to critically consider and expand on James’ artistic contribution to push key debates within contemporary art relating to site-specificity, acts of interpretation and interdisciplinary exchange. Through site-responsive sculptural intervention and live broadcasting this research will consider how interpretations of James’ realised and unrealised sculptural and architectural work can contribute to contemporary art practice as platforms for communities of enquiry.