Research work in progress by Klas Hyllén
MPhil in Architecture by design (candidate)
Edinburgh College of Art

From Fri 17th SEPT – Fri 29th OCT

Preview evening Thurs 16th SEPT 5.30-8.00pm

‘(hi)STORY – Viewing the Old Town from Hermione’s window’, is the culmination of a year’s work studying and criticising the urban status of Edinburgh’s Old Town. Hermione, the embodiment of nobody and everyone, is seen as a multiple of metaphors; for madness, passion and subjectivity. This exhibition celebrates Hermione whilst asking questions around the notion of story and the value and expression of history. It originates in literature, where, as an analytical framework, an analogous narrative is constructed using psychoanalytical terminology.

‘Hermione’, a suspended model of Old Town and the main piece in the gallery, displays Old Town as a misrepresentation or rather a re-presentation, abstracting Foucault’s argument to suspend history. The suspended city produces a footprint of Old Town; an image that can be seen in the mirror it is suspended over. From the psychoanalytic analogy for the healing process in psychotherapy, where the therapist is often seen as a reflection in which the client understands him-or herself in a new light, this becomes a metaphor for the city to see its true ‘self’; i.e. a process of self-realisation.

The interpretation of the history of Old Town is as many as the interpretations of the endless perspectives of ‘Hermione’. The outcome of this project is in the self-realisation of the mirror image; a collective healing process of self-reflection where every person studying the model is invited to see an ephemeral image of Old Town that is both reason and unreason. The image does not tell you how to look at the Old Town and its history; it only tells you that Old Town is different every time you do look. Each time one has to re-evaluate its history and in that re-evaluation is the key to history, it is dynamic and forever changing.

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