18 Monday 18th January 2016
Leeds/London photographer Joanne Coates utilises Georges Perac's take on the concept of 'utopia' - that "All utopias are depressing because they leave no room for chance, for difference, for the ‘miscellaneous" - in describing her series Spider Island.
Spider Island is an exploration of Ijburg, a man-made collection of islands in the east of Amsterdam built during an economic upturn. Devised as a means to alleviate the city's housing problems and mix various groups together, the area has instead become socially segregated; this is emblematic in social housing - decayed due to government cuts and the effects of recession - parked next to luxury developments and billboards proclaiming more building to come.
As these ahistorial islands lack the protection of nature, Ijburg is at the mercy of strong sea winds and an influx of spiders. Coates traces the animals and their webs all over the new constructions, contemplating how people have brought these islands into being and what the future holds.
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