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Let our fantasies become reality
von Bullivant Lucy | 6/26/2010

Pupils of London's Westminster Academy have devised fantasy buildings for public space. The project was led by German-Egyptian artist Susan Hefuna as part of the "Fantasy Architecture" competition and curated by the Serpentine Gallery. The winners were announced in May. Of special note: Westminster Academy is home not only to pupils from England, but also from other countries, and the entries for the competition reflect the diversity of cultural backgrounds.

The "Fantasy Architecture" competition is part of the "Edgware Road Project", named after the underground station in North London. It brings together local and international artists with people living and working in this northwest London neighbourhood. It is inspired by the work of artists like John Latham, who in the 1960s brought artists into companies and schools to share their skills.

The results of the competition were presented in tents, and the predominant themes were football, music and fashion. It was therefore intriguing to see Mohammed Rashid's tent exploring "war" as a fantasy. Inside, explosions on every wall encouraged viewers to feel sorry for survivors. Ramseena Nasar defied gravity, turning a tree upside down in initial drawings. Moreover, the roof of her tent is made of a huge, inverted bunch of roses suspended inside the tent. "It makes people think differently", she says of her dream-like space visitors wear a pair of grass slippers to wear to walk around. By contrast, Jamal El-Ali turned his tent into a hip-hop hat you could enter, while Sultana Rahmali crystallised memories of childhood with patchwork sofas.

www.serpentinegallery.org

„Fantasy Architecture“ competition by Susan Hefuna and Serpentine Gallery, London