TALKIE: THE GAMES (video art)

Thursday 12th July


Third floor gallery space

Tickets: £3

Bookings: 0161 605 8220

We know what the Olympics are supposed to do for our economy, but how does an enormous event like the Olympics impact on a city, its urban environment and its creative community? Join artist Hilary Powell and Dan Edelstyn (of Optimistic Productions) in conversation with they discuss the newly commissioned film ‘The Games’, which currently features as part of the PLAY: Experience the Adventure of Our Cities exhibition at Urbis.

‘The Games’, is a 15 minute documentary that involves staging a condensed and surreal Olympic games amid the wasteland of the 2012 Olympic Village site, poised on the brink of total transformation. An urban landscape currently populated with factories, allotments, construction workers, multiple communities, junk and rubble will become a shiny new Olympic Village. But what effect does this transformation have on the way we understand urban space? We know what the Olympics is suppose to do for our economy, but how does an enormous event like the Olympics impact on a city, its urban environment and its creative community? What happens to the histories and memories of city space when they are appropriated, transformed and gentrified in this manner?

Featuring a full screening of THE GAMES film by Optimistic Productions and co-commissioned by Urbis this participatory dialogue event features discussion with the film’s director and one of the co-collaborators from the office of Subversive Architecture as well as political commentators from Manchester exploring the various sides of the Olympic argument.


Dr Tim Edensor

Tim Edensor is reader in Cultural Geography at MMU. He is the author of 3 books: Tourists at the Taj, National Identity, Popular Culture and Everyday Life, and Industrial Ruins: Space, Aesthetics and Materiality. He has also written widely on walking and driving, and is currently pursuing projects about the display of Christmas lights, Manchester City FC and the geographies of building stone in Manchester.

Dr Hilary Powell

Hilary Powell is an artist based in London. She completed her interdisciplinary PhD in Cultural Studies at Goldsmith’s College, University of London last year and has just been made Honorary Research Fellow at The London Consortium (Tate, ICA, Architectural Association and Birkbeck). She is carrying on the research and practice started within her PhD – focusing on creative practices that operate in the ‘junkspaces’ of the city and investigating urban ruins and their potential.

She has travelled to various sites across Europe researching and responding to derelict industrial architecture from work in the declining industrial area of Oberschoeneweide in Berlin (former home to the A.E.G) to naval storehouses on the island fort of Kronstadt near St Petersburg and an abandoned industrial incinerator in Montreal.

Closer to home, her fascination with digging up the smaller histories within the history of urban transformation led to her installation project in the derelict Midland Grand Hotel, St Pancras and an installation in the empty pool basin of a forgotten London Lido (now restored to its original function). All projects share the common factor of being based in, highlighting and documenting sites on the brink of development and change. A recent project involved a theatrical event opening in derelict tube carriages on a disused railway viaduct in East London. This site is being developed as a creative ‘hub’ and the associated film Hilary worked on about the project is now being broadcast.

She is a partner with Dan Edelstyn in the film production company Optimistic Productions and they are developing a ‘specialism’ in this urban field and reaching a wide and varied audience. Their series of Three Minute Wonders for Channel 4 on ‘Subverting the City’ opened up a range of collaborations particularly with the Office for Subversive Architecture who they have now collaborated with on ‘ The Games’ now showing in Urbis.

Dan Edelstyn

Whilst attending University College London and The Sorbonne in Paris, Daniel edited Pi, the university magazine, contributed reviews to The London Student, Time Out, Paris, The Independent on Sunday and The Times. On leaving university in 1999, Dan turned his back on a career in journalism, preferring to study film-making in New York. In 2000, he set up Optimistic Productions and has been writing and directing well acclaimed and award winning short films through the company ever since. In 2005 he had his first commission for a series of short documentaries for Channel 4 and is currently developing a feature length docu-drama in partnership with Fulcrum TV as well as a collaboration with Two Four on a one hour film aimed at Channel 4.