The exhibition Dust revolves around the problem of losing one’s home. In her project, developed since 2018 in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Mainland China, Karolina Breguła addresses the topic of mass evictions and demolitions. She examines the mechanisms of gentrification and the tactics of resistance against them, the social processes that take place in the demolition areas, and the experience of individuals who have suffered the loss of home. The show comprises photographs, film installations, spectacle footage, objects, and a book written in collaboration with scholars and victims of evictions. The artist weaves a multi-layered tale through which she seeks to capture the life-changing moment as well as the resulting uncertainty and instability experienced by residents of areas that undergo a transformation. Breguła’s works depict urban planning processes and their imperfections, while also documenting resistance and hope, exhaustion and resignation, and something that one of the book’s protagonists calls exercises in losing control.
The eponymous dust generated by demolitions moves fast. According to a report commissioned by Breguła, the dust from the demolished house of one of the book’s protagonists travelled the distance of more than one hundred kilometres to a secluded location far away from the city on a day with little wind. The remnants of houses, which had not been scattered by wind, were taken away on trucks. The places described by the artist experience irreversible changes, whose evidence quickly disappears from the field of vision. Dust aims to offer a chance to examine something that is usually missing from top-down modernisation processes: the individual experience of losing one’s home, sense of belonging and identity.