Statement courtesy Museum of London Dockland’s website:
“The Museum of London Docklands will be closed between 9 July and 16 September 2012 inclusive to host Deutsches Haus, the official base for the German National Olympic Committee. During this time we will carry out essential upgrades to our facilities, improving our visitor experience.
You can, however, still visit the Museum of London, which is FREE and open throughout the London 2012 Games. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
THE ‘JOURNEYS AND KINSHIP’ PROJECT, IS CURRENTLY ON DISPLAY IN THE LONDON SUGAR & SLAVERY GALLERY AT THE MoL DOCKLANDS.
“Is the face not currency enough? This display of face casts responds to the irony that members of the African Diaspora must pay to visit sites from which their ancestors were transported into enslavement.
Journeys and Kinship explores further the themes of the London, Sugar & Slavery gallery at the Museum of London Docklands through a project between the visual artist Jean Joseph and a group of young Londoners working together with Caribbean Calypso musician, Alexander D Great, and Yvonne Wilson from Equi-Vison.
The display features Joseph’s work Sale Over Centuries, 2010 which consists of plaster face casts of 42 people from the African Diaspora who were born in and/or currently live in London. The casts promote discussion on the structure of faces and show how resemblances carry across generations and geographies.
In response to Joseph’s work the young Londoners explored issues of enslavement, London’s involvement and the African Diaspora. They then created a display which includes their own face casts and original music alongside film and photography documenting the project. This thought-provoking display raises issues around enslavement and life in modern London which remain relevant in today’s capital.”
The Journeys and Kinship project was launch in February 2012 (see previous postings) at the London Sugar and Slavery Gallery, MoL Docklands and was due to end on 4 November 2012. The exhibition theme is an interpretation of the greater objective of the LSS Gallery itself and the J&K realisation was in itself a Journey of collaboration and process, involving hard work and commitment.
The museum is a genuine treasure, yet many Londoners are still unaware of the Docklands branch, and, subsequently, the LSS Gallery. Ergo, it is disappointing that the entire museum and as a consequence, the LSS Gallery, should only be accessible to one nation - not only during the school holidays, but at a particular time of heightened international visitor numbers to the capital, ie, the Olympic Games 2012, which is being held nearby. The Museum’s premise is that they will be undertaking upgrading during that period. Was there a need to close the building for 9 weeks? Will the German Olympic Committee be taking up the display areas?
“I have promoted the project through various media from its launch in February to the present. As someone who has brought the J&K project to the LSS and written extensively on the topic, I have chosen to circulate the information and leave the matter for others/potential visitors to take up as they so choose. I will however, communicate directly with the Museum managers…
…You should be aware for those who have never visited the LSS, (shame on you) it is a permanent display within the Docklands site of the Museum of London and the floor space is relatively small. However, it is a vastly significant display and I find, underexposed in terms of promotion.
However, I support your angst in feeling that our [African] history is being disregarded, yet again. I do not need to emphasise this, as it is the theme of my main exhibition, ‘We’ve already paid - Journeys and Kinship’ which the artwork at the museum is a part of. ” J Joseph