Spike Island

Rosa AinleyBuilding 519, and other Pfizer Tales


24 January to 29 March 2015



Event type

One Work

One Work is a new, occasional series of single works presented outside the galleries at Spike Island. They offer the chance to focus on a single work, and to experience it in a context other than a traditional gallery exhibition.

Rosa Ainley is a writer with a background in architecture and photography: ‘you could say that all my work is about the stories that architecture tells’. Ainley explores the idea of a ‘ghost building’, researching the stories which people attach to buildings that have been demolished, or have outgrown their original function.

This work, located in Spike Island’s reception area, focuses on the former site of pharmaceutical company Pfizer in Kent. It comprises a book, Building 519, and other Pfizer Tales, based around the impenetrable Building 519, and a short audio piece, constructed from slogans and phrases culled from Ainley’s research materials. The work explores how it might be possible to record the echoes of previous lives of a building to take it through to a new incarnation, reconstructed from people’s memories and stories, real and imagined.

Preview: Friday 23 January, 6-9pm

Rosa Ainley

Supported by
  • Whitstable Biennale