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Dismantled Gellerup

In the summer of 2016 I spent one and half months in Gellerup, a suburban neighbourhood of Aarhus, the second biggest city of Denmark.

 

The area of Gellerup is undergoing a heavy process of urban renewal driven by the Municipality of Aarhus and the Danish state. In fact the neighbourhood has become a sort of ghetto over the last decades as a huge influx of people with non-Danish backgrounds came to live here. Lack of services, a large number of unemployed, and the highest crime rate in the whole of Denmark have made this area a "dangerous" neighbourhood to live in.

 

During my stay I never felt unsafe there. Actually something else took my attention: the quantity of good materials people throw away almost every day. Beds, desks, chairs, drawers, televisions, closets, computers. The recycling boxes in the inner streets of the neighbourhood were perpetual sources of serviceable domestic equipment.

 

I think this is just another aspect of the dismantling process that's going on in the area: the Municipality is dismantling the old Gellerup and, at the same time, people are dismantling their domestic spaces in an unstoppable consumer vortex involving furniture and neighbourhoods alike.

 

I tried to combine these two aspects in a photo installation: photos of demolition and renewal work were exhibited in a structure made of “dismantled” drawers found in the area.

 

"Dismantled Gellerup" was exhibited at Sigrids Stue, Gellerup (Aarhus, Denmark), August-September 2016.