London burnt in 1940 for the sake of tolerance and the price was well worth it. It is burning again, but this time only to satisfy developers’ greed, planners’ inadequacy and official stupidity. - Ian Nairn
Togetherness: Notes on Outrage was the first manifestation of South Kiosk’s ongoing research into the work of the architecture critic Ian Nairn, whose 1955 edition of Architectural Review, entitled Outrage, revolutionised architectural criticism. The exhibition took place across July 2016 and included permanent displays, temporary exhibits, screenings, performances, and talks.
For Outrage, Nairn took to the road between Southampton and Carlisle observing and documenting the urban sprawl and ubiquitous civic architecture. Broken into 25-mile segments Outrage proposes an audit of every facet of subtopian aesthetics, covering subjects ranging from wire fencing, telegraph poles and street lights, to military installations and power stations, culminating in a manifesto, some precepts and a checklist of planning malpractices.
In addition to the publication of Outrage, Nairns evaluation of the emerging subtopian landscape also took the form of a travelling exhibition across Britain, entitled Subtopia. The imagery used and the interactive format of the freestanding display and visualisation of agents of subtopia expressed further the young critics contempt towards the planning of the town, suburb, country and wild.
Considered within the current local climate of relentless mediocre redevelopment and increasingly privatised public space Nairn’s output seems both prophetic and more applicable than ever. To highlight this lasting resonance and fuel new dialogue surrounding Nairn’s ideas, South Kiosk paired familiar collaborators Felicity Hammond and Polly Tootal, two artists whose work, like Outrage, closely interrogates the built environment.