The infrastructure that surrounds us, what might be called the social landscape, is a manifestation of the particular forces that brought it into being. But these are not always legible as such, especially when the passage of time and the economic demands of endless redevelopment have obscured certain key elements in the “narrative” of a place. So, part of Victoria J. Dean's work is to restore some context to marginal or otherwise unreadable aspects of the built environment, an important consideration given that it is often too easy to assume that where and indeed, how we live are simply matters of necessity, as opposed to being the products of a real, historical process. Dean's work also has as its subtext the way in which power structures subtly determine our interactions. In this case, it is how buildings influence the kind of movement that is possible around them - a seemingly obvious conclusion, of course, but one fundamentally tied to the political contingencies of urban (and suburban) space. The influence of power relations becomes all the more significant when we learn that this work by Dean is concerned specifically with Northern Ireland, where sectarian divisions have shaped the social landscape in a very literal way.
Bernadette Keating, from the series Out of a Dense Fog.