Unearthed Underground

Unearthed Underground is a biomorphic network of tunnels spread over the Bold Tendencies’ rooftop, some 22m wide and 15m long.  The tunnels take their form from Joseph Bazalgette’s original London sewer system, which was constructed only after a prolonged public health crisis and years of advocacy. Glynn’s installation uproots and re-casts this network onto the roof

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Unearthed Underground is a biomorphic network of tunnels spread over the Bold Tendencies’ rooftop, some 22m wide and 15m long.  The tunnels take their form from Joseph Bazalgette’s original London sewer system, which was constructed only after a prolonged public health crisis and years of advocacy. Glynn’s installation uproots and re-casts this network onto the roof of the car park. Traces of the sewer’s curious history mark the installation: an inverted dinner party scene nodding to the three-hundred person banquet inaugurating the system, and a lost ceramic slipper from the Queen’s parade through the tunnels.

As a teenage punk in the 1990s, Glynn watched as indie and punk were subsumed by capitalism and now questions whether an “underground” is still possible under the regime of global capitalism. Inspired by the literature of Dostoyevsky, Victor Hugo and CS Lewis—places where the underground represents a darker, fantastic and utopian space—Glynn is equally concerned with historical cases of those members of society operating literally and figuratively in the shadows below ground. The curving forms of the tunnels represent a time before the introduction of rational urban planning.  In Victorian London, straightening and widening the crooked streets was part of a broader effort at moral reform targeting the lower classes. Glynn likens the act of uprooting this sewer—which doubles as a circulatory system—to the current political climate, where the festering discomforts plaguing a society can no longer be ignored.

Glynn’s work will be on view at Bold Tendencies through September 2019, alongside commissions by Matt Copson, Jenny Holzer, Lawrence Lek, Momtaza Mehri, and Konrad Smoleński.

More information at http://boldtendencies.com/site-specific-art-commissions/