Passen-gers is a site-specific exhibition project based at the Brunswick Centre.
Fri – Sat, 12–6pm, Sun 12–4pm
or by appointment during exhibitions
To find us please come to Entrance 3 of the Brunswick Centre, which can be found on Marchmont Street, opposite the Marquis of Cornwallis pub.
For access please dial 110 at Entrance 3 on Marchmont St. We can be found on Level Two.
Nearest tube: Russell Square, Kings Cross St Pancras
Passen-gers is a site-specific exhibition series that explores the historical, social and material context of the Brunswick Centre. Artists will present work sequentially that explores the real and imaginative associations of the site and its architecture.
The title Passen-gers references the 1975 film The Passenger by Michelangelo Antonioni that features the Brunswick Centre as a location and exploits it as a powerful mise-en-scene. The plot follows a journalist who assumes the identity of a dead businessman while working on a documentary in Chad, unaware that he is impersonating an arms dealer with connections to the rebels in the current civil war. This notion of a ‘passenger’ as someone who inhabits transient identities and spaces, relates to how each artist is rendered a passenger within the larger exhibition structure. This structure is generative and multi-directional, allowing different ideas, themes and narratives to emerge, overlap and intersect, creating dialogue with each other over time.
The Brunswick Centre is a grade II listed residential and shopping centre designed by Patrick Hodgkinson in the mid-1960s and has an interesting history. It’s often misinterpreted as a Brutalist megastructure and likened to a bunker or space-ship from sci-fi movie set – in contrast to the architect’s vision: ‘…it was to be a village, not a megastructure, and never ‘Brutalist’, but would rather create a poetic construct of feel and not look…’. Inspired by Existentialist philosophy, features such as the cascading glass facades of the ‘winter gardens’ were to give contemplative views of open skies ‘… allow[ing] an engagement with an existential awareness of self in the world.’
In 2006 the Brunswick reopened after extensive renovation works that fulfilled some of Hodgkinson’s original specifications. A spruced-up shopping courtyard now occupies the ground floor but the first floor location of this exhibition project continues to bear something of its former ‘state of decayed majesty, poetic ruination, untouched by commerce.’
The exhibitions are hosted and supported by Gauld Architecture to encourage wider discussions about the built environment.