Matthew Darbyshire project for Kettle’s Yard - which today is a department of the University of Cambridge and a gallery - was designed for the left side of the building, overlooking Castle Street: during the renovation works for the new education wing, rather than just a billboard the artist proposed a perforated building wrap, similar to those used in building sites where it’s possible to see a reproduction of the façade momentarily hidden. This would lead to a “coming soon” effect in the viewer, and then to subsequent feelings of ambiguity and confusion: Darbyshire instead of the trompe l’oeil of the real future building would have printed on the wrap the vision of a future development of the building in a "Thatcherite, low-cost vernacular" style, intended to be a dystopian cultural one stop shop for the contemporary England.
The aim was precisely to comment - through an image which represents architecture and its values – on the possibility that a cultural space such as Kettle’s Yard may in future turn into something different (even if the current renovation works just involved the education wing of the gallery). The title itself - ukfun-ky - refers to a possible “regeneration” of Kettle’s Yard, enacting a criticism of these processes and of the spreading of anonymous and interchangeable spaces in the urban pattern. There are specific references to the policies adopted in the eighties in the UK, which was made of "thoughtless and insensitive developments", was moved only by profit and that now seems to the artist so close to a revival.
The Director of the gallery disapproved and an alternative was formulated.
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