Ghon Jumbo

Open Monumentalism


Ghon Jumbo was installation marking the closing of SHOW DOME for the Hackney Wicked Arts Festival 2010, in which the remaining contents of the art space were presented to the public as building materials. Visitors were provided with various tools and invited without direction to contribute to what became, over an 10-hour period, a sprawling, monumental sculpture. The project aimed to celebrate for a final time the spirit of freedom being santitized Olympics preparations and rent increases.

The process was open to anyone and everyone. We offered as little guidance as possible beyond a basic safety overview and participants were encouraged to bring their own tools in advance to speed up construction. During the process of constructing ‘Ghon Jumbo’ we asked every participant to fill in a special questionnaire. By asking those who took part to fill information in this way we created a record of our friends, peers, parents and neighbours who participated, which for me has always been one of the most important consequences of working with other people.

On a personal level this project was really important to me. In carrying it out I learnt a lot about the real nature of collaboration and experimental making. At it’s heart this was driven by the question ‘what happens when you let people do exactly what they want without giving them any direction’. The results were dodgy, dangerous and fun which for me is all you could ever ask for. The back drop of the project was also personally poignant – a group of people were moving on, leaving a location which had seeded a great number of conversations, arguments, projects, relationships, parties and above all lasting friendships. We had to leave because it was becoming unsustainable, the olympics were coming and rent was spiralling upwards.