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Free Admission

If All Relations Were to Reach Equilibrium, Then This Building Would Dissolve


Saturday 11 June - Sunday 18 September

This project – involving research, a display, and public programs – explores the subject of migration on Teesside and elsewhere, bringing together documents, artefacts and artworks made by Middlesbrough-based asylum seekers and refugees as well as British and international artists, scholars and activists.

Many individuals fleeing Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa, parts of the Middle East and other regions arrive in Teesside, the population of which has long been formed by people from elsewhere, and the heightened ‘migrant crisis’ across Europe has accentuated the situation.

If All Relations Were to Reach Equilibrium, Then This Building Would Dissolve explores the tension between free circulation and border control as well as the experience of exile and displacement, and focuses on human rights, governmental policies, xenophobia, identity, and trauma, among other themes.

Participants are architecture master students from Newcastle University, Babi Badalov, Khaled Barakeh, Zanny Begg and Oliver Ressler, Burlesque of North America, Carolina Caycedo, Chto Delat?, Collection of Investing in People and Culture, Liam Gillick, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Charles Heller and Lorenzo Pezzani, Immigrant Movement International, Ausama Khalil, Isabel Lima, Paulo Nazareth, Daniela Ortiz, Pod Collective, Right to Remain, RISE, Firas Shehadeh, Nelli Stavropoulou, and Grant Watson.

The gallery also operates as a centre for service provision, learning and debate. Free resources and activities include a suite of computers with Internet access, a food bank, study groups, and opportunities for convening such as a communal weekly lunch, creative workshops and ESOL informal sessions.

The exhibition’s title is a piece by Gillick, a text he originally proposed as part of his commission for the Home Office’s new London headquarters in the early 2000s. According to the organisation’s website, the Home Office is the government department responsible for immigration, counter-terrorism, police, drugs policy and related science and research. Gillick’s expression suggests that in a world in which all people are truly equal, or at least treated equally, the Home Office would not need to exist.

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