Soft Landing (2018)
  • Maria McLintock | London

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  • Soft Landing (2018)
  • Maria McLintock | London
  • Debt makes people behave in strange ways. It mirrors and magnifies both voracious human desire and ferocious human fear. It is the emperor without clothes, a toxic masculinity exposed; naked and flaccid. Since this mother of all crashes, it has become the new shame. Being Catholic was once shame. As were cigarettes, being fat, being a whore, uneducated, gay, divorced. Debt is high on the charts of shame.

    Part theory, history, popular culture, news, and autobiography, Soft Landing explores the consequences of the Irish economic crash through a deeply personal account of its ramifications, by placing it in an economic grid of money and time.  It tracks the ten year period from Ireland’s early economic boom – otherwise known as the ‘Celtic Tiger’ – to the three years following the tragic event that brought our global economy to its brink.  It is an account of how neoliberal policy and political power relations can reshape – not just financial markets – but also human life, community and a body politic.  I moved from a post-war metropolis to a tiny town called Ballybofey in the North-West region of Ireland in 2004; I left in 2011 – this was my attempt to trace the ways a grandiose political event shaped my family’s shifting identity.


    Maria McLintock is an interdisciplinary activist, writer and curator based in London.  She holds a Bachelors in History of Art from the University of York (2015) and is currently reading a Masters in Architectural History from the Bartlett School of Architecture (2018) where she took the course Critical Spatial Practice: Site-Writing module with Jane Rendell, David Roberts and Polly Gould. Her research centres on curatorial ethics, specifically in relation to the display of refugee architectures, as well as humanising Ireland’s neoliberalist policies through spatial writing.  In 2016, she cofounded System of Systems with designers and researchers Rebecca Glyn-Blanco and Danae Io. SoS explores the intersections of technology, bureaucracy and legality in the European asylum-seeking process,  and has thus far involved an exhibition in Athens, the publication of a book and a series of events. Maria works as an Assistant Curator at the Design Museum, London where she co-developed the shows Designers in Residence, Dwelling (2018), David Adjaye: Making Memory (2018) and Beazley Designs of the Year (forthcoming).  She also teaches  Architectural History and Theory at the School of Architecture, University of Limerick. @MariaMcLintock


    As writers, artists and thinkers, our work is a palimpsest of those who have inspired us, as well as our subjecthood.  For one who journeys through a practice such as site-writing, it is near impossible for this approach to thinking not to bear huge influence over what comes after.  I, for example, am indebted.  Since site-writing, my work contains a more localised and ethical approach to histories of architecture, and those who inhabit architecture’s tangible and intangible spaces.  Further, site-writing has expanded my definition of what the history of architecture means and what architecture can be; from the micro of buildings, up to the scale of the urban; now from policy, systems and discursive encounters, to people, communities, habits and more.

    Ireland, Financial crisis, Social housing, Neoliberal, Policy, Memoir


    Jane Rendell, SILVER (Hobart: A Published Event, 2017). 96pp., 32 illustrations.

    Valérie Anex, Ghost Estates (photography series, 2011).

    Rebecca Solnit, The Encyclopaedia of Trouble and Spaciousness (Dublin: Trinity University Press, 2014). 

    Other projects
  • Signal/Noise: Ambient Text in the Urban Landscape (ongoing project)
  • Site Stories: explorations of urban spaces through drawing and animation (25–29 April 2022)
  • Rainbow Palace, Bergen, Norway (March 2022)
  •  Acanthus, (March 2022)
  • Unter der Hohen Brücke. 
digging in a ditch, writing for a place 
  • ‘Reading-writing alongside HALL08,’ HALL08 (2021)
  • Nothingness Beyond Blossom (2021)
  • Angelo Ciccaglione, ‘The back of the dust-machine, where the visitors pour the dust in,’ Rotterdam (2021)
    The Deposition of Dust (July 2021)
  • Skye Edge (April 2021)
  • Corvid-19 (15 March 2021)
  • 1_5
    Glòries_(Eixample). A dispositive for very slow aesthetic observation, (January 2021 –)
  • As Lightning to the Children Eased (January 2021)
  • Station F (October 2020)
  • It’s Just a Matter of Time (2020)
  • 1
    Inscription: the Journal of Material Text – Theory, Practice, History,
    issue # 1: ‘beginnings,’ (2020)
  • Homekeeping-image_sml
    Homekeeping (2020)
  • City Embers (2020)
  • Between Our Words I will Trace Your Presence (February 2020)
  • What Remains (2019)
  • Situated Writing as Theory and Method (2019)
  • Parts Apart Read Together (2019)
  • Fields of Awareness, (2019, 3min 18 secs)
  • A Non-Aligned Narrative in and Around KSEVT, (2019)
  • 21 Orientations: An Atlas of Geographic Promiscuity (2019)
  • The Windowless Hotel Room (2018)
  • Spaces of Grief (2018)
  • Soft Landing (2018)
  • Shared Remains (April 2018)
  • Poetic Water Boundaries: towards a possible borderless sea, (2018)
  • Metropolitan Salem, Liuerpul (9 June – 18 August 2018)
  • Things Come Apart (21 – 24 March 2018)
  • Learn to Read Differently (2018)
  • Il Balcone. A site-writing performance (2018)
  • History begins with the vanity of kings (2018)
  • Dear Mr. Jung: Inhabiting Carl Jung’s ‘The Red Book’ (May 2018)
  • A Lunar Perspective, (2018-2020)
  • Heaton Hall: A Palimpsest (2017)
  • Location (+) (2017)
  • There’s Sand in My Infinity Pool (2017)
  • Talking Quilts (April 2017)
  • fifteen ways to cross the desert (2017)
  • Between Landscape and Confinement: Situating the Writings of Mary Wollstonecraft (2017)
  • Agency at the threshold, (2017)
  • A Ficto-Historical Theory of the London Underground (2017)
  • The Glorious Tomb to the Memory of Nothing (2016)
  • The Arrival’s Reader; A Visual Literary Criticism on The Arrival by Shaun Tan (2016)
  • Reading as Art (27 August-19 November 2016)
  • Re: development (London: Silent Grid, 2016)
  • Kjemikerens død [The Death of the Chemist] (23 – 26 May 2016)
  • Kingsland High Street (2016)
  • Foray in a Modern Reserve: An Impounding Portrait of Landuse (2016 – 2018)
  • Fall of the Derwent (2016)
  • Away from Home – Home from Away (April 2016)
  • Penguin Pool (2015)
  • Geography Lessons: Liberian Landmarks 1953-2013 (2015)
  • Women’s Anarchist Nuisance Café (2014)
  • The Writing on the Wall (after Rembrandt) (2014)
  • The Italic I (2014)
  • Designing Architecture as a Performing-Ground (2014)
  • Urban Literacy (2013/2014/2016)
  • The Disappearance: Manfredo Tafuri’s The Sphere and the Labyrinth (April 2013)
  • Folded Ground: Escape from Cape Town (2013)
  • Phantom Railings (2012 – 2017)
  • In The Emptiness Between Them (2012)
  • 10/08/12 (multispecies event) (2012)
  • An Arcades Project (2011)
  • Tideline (2010-2012)
  • The Museum of Breath (2010)
  • Slab (2010)
  • One wound. Two wounds. The body as site for writing (2010)
  • The Fluid Pavement and Other Stories on Growing Old (2006)
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