i am here
i am here is a public art work generated from within an increasingly transformed residential area in Hackney, East London. It is a direct response to the experience of living in an estate in the process of being regenerated. The housing estate, and Samuel House, is located alongside Regents Canal inbetween Kingsland Road and Victoria Park in Hackney, London.
Whilst this rapid transformation has been going on in the area, nothing much has changed on Haggerston & Kingsland Estate since the early 1980's. That is, except from an ongoing steady decline due to lack of maintenance and a gradual emptying of the estate. Since at least 2004 no new residents have been accepted, and instead, vacated flats have been boarded up.
i am here was initiated by artists who are themselves long-term residents of Samuel House. Through their open windows, facing on to the canal, they often overheard passersby speculating on reasons for the buildings demise and its current state. The installation aims to disturb this one-way interrogation: onlookers no longer stand unchallenged, as their gaze is met and returned by a multitude of faces consisting of current and former residents on the estate. Thus the project literally humanises a piece of architecture on its final journey.