Catalina Pollak Williamson
Outsider: Public Art and the Politics of the English Garden Square
Designed by Constanza Gaggero
Paperback with dustjacket
135 x 215 mm
439 colour ills
Railings are everywhere in the urban context, they control access to private and public space, and determine the behaviours sanctioned within the areas they enclose. Outsider: Public Art and the Politics of the English Garden Square incites us to take a closer look at railings in the city, and to question their function and use.
This book is published as a complement to Catalina Pollak Williamson’s public artwork, Phantom Railings (2012–2014), a project born from the artist’s interest in a particular moment in London’s social history: the removal of railings from garden squares as part of the 1940s war effort. In a comment on the railing-in of public green space within the city, the artist installed sensor-based acoustic devices along the perimeter wall of a London square, to evoke the ghost of an iron fence removed decades previously and never replaced. Outsider features an essay by Todd Longstaffe-Gowan, describing the rise of the English garden square and the major debates around their ownership, as well as a conversation between Catalina Pollak Williamson and Jeremy Deller about public art, politics and the idea of ‘play’ as an essential human need.