Memo Mori: Emily Richardson & Iain Sinclair
In 2009 Emily Richardson collaborated with Iain Sinclair on the short film Memo Mori. Described as “a journey through Hackney tracing loss and disappearance”, the film takes three years of footage and condenses it into a 23 minute eulogy for everything that was about to be swept away by the “regeneration” imposed by the 2012 Olympics.
This excerpt focusses on the Manor Garden allotments, flattened and concreted over for something that nobody needs. Sinclair rightly regards the makeshift constructions as “sculptures and self portraits”, evidence of human activity and function from necessity, as opposed to what it was replaced by.
Sinclair coined the term “compulsory leisure” for these stadia and malls, where a very narrow range of behaviours (shop, eat, drink) is encouraged, and I personally find those places utterly dehumanising. Give me some knackered old sheds in overgrown fields any day.