Book Launch and Walk: Los Angeles in Whitechapel

Led by Jaspar Joseph-Lester and Simon King with Whitechapel Gallery

Join us on September 01

BOOK LAUNCH AND GROUP WALK, 01.09.2023, 5-7.30pm


Parallel Urbanisms: Los Angeles in Whitechapel’ recreates, through a montage of text and image, the commentary of Jaspar Joseph-Lester and Simon King as they lead a group walk on a time-traveling circuit of the social, architectural and media scapes of this textured and turbulent area of East London. Following the 90-minute walk, originally commissioned as part of the Whitechapel Gallery’s first Nocturnal Creatures evening of art events in July 2018, the publication begins in Angel Alley and ends in Jubilee Gardens, in the heart of the city of London. Parallel Urbanisms: Los Angeles in Whitechapel consider the notion of ‘parallel urbanisms’ not in terms of physical resemblances but rather in relation to deeper causal, psychic and economic points of convergence. Aside from the key literary and filmic touchstones of Jack London and Ridley Scott, Joseph-Lester and King’s approach is informed by writers, geographers, artists and philosophers who have repeatedly shown that traditional physical geographies, fixed political boundaries or sites of economic exchanges can no longer be understood as stable measures of the fluid interchanges and connections that exist between cities. The daily reality of living in a networked technological media is the starting point for the authors to explore the invisible infrastructural connections between Whitechapel and Los Angeles. Their tour takes both a historical perspective and a more contemporary analysis, one which also look myA po p I I’p Pam pow s to the future in terms of howpop LA exists deep within Whitechapel and London in general.

Parallel Urbanisms: Los Angeles in Whitechapel is a hand bound artist book designed, printed and bound by Plaintiff Press. The variable book covers offer a unique touch to this rare limited edition of 60. They are hand printed lithographs, designed and photographed by João Villas. The book is Swiss-bound with Coptic stitch detailing and includes a map of the original walk.

GROUP WALK: Los Angeles in Whitechapel, 5.45-7.30pm

Jaspar Joseph-Lester and Simon King will lead a walk which explores elements of Los Angeles in the East End. Contributions from Osman Yousefzada and William Cobbing will connect aspects of the walk to their work in the current exhibition Life Is More Important Than Art. The walk was first commissioned by Whitechapel Gallery for their Nocturnal Creatures project in July 2018:

On this walk we will consider how Los Angeles coexists with the East End. Our tour will take both a historical perspective (focusing on Jack London’s The People of the Abyss published in 1903) and a more contemporary analysis, where we will look to images of the future as a way to consider how LA exists deep within Whitechapel and London in general. Here we will try to better understand the causal relation between media images, architectural space and the kind of transmutation of the city architectural space into cinematic image and how these forces return back to inform current developments in the city.

About the Authors:

Jaspar Joseph-Lester is a London-based artist, whose work explores the role images play in urban planning, social space and everyday praxis. Here he has focused on the conflicting ideological frameworks embodied in representations of modernity, urban renewal and regeneration as a means to better understand how art practice can redefine the successive cycle of masterplans and regeneration schemes that determine the cultural life of our cities. Joseph-Lester is Professor of Critical Spatial Practice at the Royal College of Art.

Simon King is a writer and researcher who works collaboratively to create socially-engaged, ‘non-heritage’ walking tours that have an overarching theme or narrative and a distinctive mapping methodology i.e., bringing in to play metaphorical and literal correspondences and archival ephemera that includes old maps, postcards, family photographs and literary sources.