Holly White and Morag Kiel
Haus zur Liebe, Schaffhausen
get in touch to view Fizzys the Sequel
More information from the press release
Welcome to this exhibition by Holly White and Morag Keil. The works in the show are comprised of ideas Holly and Morag had over the course of nine months through online and real-life discussions and also making the film “Fizzys the Sequel,” that you can watch in the bedroom area. All the works in the space have been made during the pairs stay at Haus Zur Leibe.
A series of paper mâché worlds hang from the ceiling, some with houses on them. The pink pattern on the wall is taken from the wallpaper in The Fizzys, the real housing complex that the film is about. The pet station is also inspired by Fizzy Living. A Youtube installation with camera, halo light and screen stands in the room too, turning domestic spaces into sites of production like youtubers making videos in their bedrooms, like Holly and Morag living in the gallery.
There are two films in the show. One is The Estate Agent made by Holly White in 2014, which was the starting point for this whole show and the second is the new video, Fizzys the Sequel.
I saw Holly’s original film The Estate Agent online on her Vimeo account. It tells the story of a fictional near future in London where an estate agent is selling luxury apocalypse shelters. The estate agent shows us around and tells us about the Safe homes, which are actually the contemporary flats we see popping up in cities across the UK. The offices for Safe Homes Enterprises is actually a Foxtons estate agents, with Safe Homes Enterprises editing in over the top. Foxtons is an estate agent in the UK, it has a bar in it or café and they cater to the higher budgets but have sort of turned estate agents into a lifestyle.
The estate agent in Holly’s film, Chloe, then describes the alternatives if you can’t afford a safe home. And she takes us to one of those alternatives. It’s in Holly’s old house, a converted warehouse in London, but in the fictional story it’s a Fizzy, named this because it is run by fizzy drinks corporations like Coke Cola.
I really liked Holly’s film because with a seemingly very low budget she and Chloe had created an entire narrative and sci fi dystopia, not that far from some of the actual situations in cities in the UK right now.
Then a lot of years later I was on a bus in Lewisham and next to the train station it passes this block of new builds and I see a sign on them and it says Fizzy. So I text Holly because it’s too weird that these flats would share the name of the fictional flats in her video.
It turns out the real life Fizzys are the market rent business wing of Thames Valley Housing Association, a London housing association. These flats follow a student housing model where the property developer is the landlord too, so no one can ever own them, they are built to be rented out. It is not really the same as the Fizzys in Holly’s fictional world but a new phenomenon of housing associations making money out of rent supposedly to put into the social housing they also run. We decided to go view a flat and find out more.
What you see in this show is a kind of talking heads documentary we made of the experience of viewing the flats, as well as making it into a show, struggling with meaning in the objects we make and the relations to our past works, and our interaction with the immediate world around us that defines the spaces we use.