The Apparatus is a year-long project running throughout 2011, to mark Arnolfini’s 50th anniversary. This series of exhibitions and events will focus on the conditions of the art world today, particularly its systems of belief and valuation, its role within society, and its relationship to the wider political economy. The Apparatus is about the ‘makings of’ artists, of artworks, of institutions, and of a cultural infrastructure.
Arnolfini has invited Laura Oldfield Ford to develop a new project specifically for large-scale Adshel poster sites around the Broadmead area in the city centre of Bristol, throughout February in 2011. Laura Oldfield Ford’s drawings reflect on the urban landscape. Often beginning with the idea of the walk, her practice engages with cities in a psycho-geographic investigation, creating narratives that float between past, present and future. The narratives she creates incorporate nostalgically-orientated imagery of historical protest, rioting and decay, as well as competing visions of the built environment, old and new, appropriated from advertisements for architectural developments.
Oldfield Ford’s own background has been as a participant in different anarchist and punk movements through the 80s and 90s, before eventually completing an MA is Fine Art at the Royal College of Art. Informed by her investment in the politics of the street, she produces illustration works for a variety of ephemeral media formats including billboards, posters and fanzines, responding to slick corporate designs by using a more homespun drawing aesthetic.