24.04.18 Speculative to Operative ESALA conference on the early work of Peter Wilson
Peter Wilson’s Early Work Thematicised
On the 9th and 10th of April Edinburgh University and Drawing Matter hosted a two day conference discussing of Peter Wilson’s graphic speculations from the pre-digital 1970s and 1980s. This production of atmospheric speculations emanated from London’s AA where it influenced and echoed. The event began with a Keynote talk by Wilson bridging between the early researches and the subsequent European based practice of BOLLES+WILSON and more recently sketch generated re-scriptings of the city of Korca in Albania.
The following day on the top floor of Evolution House, Chiaroscuro was discussed as speakers awaited fog to lift from the nearby Edinburgh Castle. Kurt Forster began by unpacking a Suitcase Full of Shadows and was followed by Isabelle Doucet’s radical and political reading of Wilson’s Diploma thesis which she had unearthed in the AA archive. Nigel Coates gave an insightful assessment of being a student at Alvin Boyarski’s AA to be followed by Nicholas Boyarski reporting from Perugia and Tokyo on first hand experience of BOLLES+WILSON works. Adrian Hawker took as his theme the Venice Accademia Bridge, composed with the ‘Abstract Frame + Figurative Adjacency compositional strategy that also informed the BOLLES+WILSON Münster Lobrary.The AA was once again in focus as Mike Gold reminisced on life drawing sessions instigated by himself and Wilson which led on to his own ‘Figures in Architecture’ program
Mark Dorian, the event organizer, dexterously opened the afternoon session using Roland Barthes’ Empire of signs to compare strategic evolutions over the 10 years between the two Comfortable House (Shenkenshiku Competition) entries. The first with its ‘sfumato’ deep interiority, the second given first prize by Toyo Ito for its floating on the waves of the ephemeral city. Izabella Wiezorek then gave many reasons for talking about Peter Wilson. Her profound research based on an impressive atmospheric expertise extended to agency and the performative.
To conclude Elizabetta Terragni constructed a counter-factual history within her Albanian Secret Police Museum where she uncovered a file on the ‘Cultural Agitator Peter W’.
Peter Wilson would like to express his profound appreciation and thanks for these generous readings which in total most certainly exhausted the subject.
Illustration Comfortable House 1975