Constantine Gras, a former artist-in-residence for Grenfell Tower, lead Washing Dirty Linen in Public, a multi-vocal performative walk that uncovered the histories of resistance and reproductive labour in North Kensington.
The performance-based walk focused on women’s labour and activism in Notting Dale from 1860-1970, in particular the different stories of laundry work and the world of baths and wash houses. These stories were experienced at different sites that connect to the historical lives of the working-class and migrant women in the fields, streets and slum houses of North Kensington.
The walk lasted approximately 1.5 hours, with time for refreshments and discussion afterwards at Latymer Community Church.
There were two walks, one beginning at 10:00am and the other at 14:00pm.
In addition to the walk, there was a free exhibition display on women’s labour and the social history of North Kensington, including drawings, short films and an installation. This was available to view at Latymer Community Church from 11am-5pm throughout the day. All welcome.
Constantine Gras is a multimedia artist who works with archives to explore the link between memory, emotion and history. This involves original research and culminates in multi-stranded projects with collaborative input from other artists or participants. Filmmaking is at the expressive heart of his practice. His films employ a dialectical approach to image making that produce meditative, elegiac outcomes. Constantine was the first community artist to be employed by the V&A Museum. He has recently worked as artist in-residence at both Lancaster West and Silchester estates in North Kensington, working with residents who live in the shadow of Grenfell Tower.
Influenced by the Situationists’ dérive, the Power Walks programme brought to life the Actual RealityOS data, highlighting issues around social housing, low wage work, histories of resistance and the accessibility of the city. The three walks and a tour were created in conversation with campaigns, community groups, and organisations local to the areas surrounding the Serpentine, and took place throughout the duration of Hito Steyerl’s Power Plants exhibition. Each walk and tour tells a story of the hidden and not so hidden inequalities from the point of view of those most affected.