Another City Not My Own
10 May to 15 June 2003
Hannah Collins chose the rich intensity of 35mm film to portray Gypsy life in the barrio of La Mina on the periphery of Barcelona. The work is in two parts, Mourning and Law which, in turn, adopt theatrical and filmic languages to represent the individual and society, the private and the public, the solitary night and the community of day.
In Mourning a wheelchair-bound man, Rafael, sings a Cante Hondo lament, the most solitary form of flamenco. His face grimaces with emotion as he sits apparently abandoned in the alienating surroundings of one of Franco's housing projects. This is followed by Law, which charts the unfolding events of a Gypsy court of justice. Conducted on the streets by an informal rabble and presided over by the patriarch Tio Emilio, this epitomises classical democracy and completely short circuits Spanish bureaucracy.
Another City Not My Own stands as a tribute to the displaced and their contingent lifestyles. In her humanisation of the documentary format, Collins investigates the conflicting themes of cultural ghettoisation and empowerment through community.
Produced with the kind collaboration of Tatxo Benet, Mercuri Productions, Barcelona and Emilio Alvarez. With grateful thanks to Manuel Fernadez Cortés and the Gypsy community of La Mina.
Hannah Collins has exhibited widely in Europe and the United States and has work in many public and private collections including the Tate, London; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid; Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis and Deutsche Bank. She was shortlisted for the Turner Prize 1993. Collins lives between Barcelona and London.
Time Out: review