Interactive video installation
The University Of Brighton, Brighton, UK
The view into 'Room 237' was blocked by a false wall with a clinical soap dispenser mounted on it. Before entering the installation, visitors were encouraged to clean their hands using the antibacterial gel provided. Above the soap dispenser, an embossed plaque read: 'Strictly No Photography', a sign common to art galleries, military institutions and state detention centres.
In the next space there was a monitor mounted on the left-hand wall. When visitors looked into the monitor, they saw a live relay of themselves filmed from behind, with their turned backs framed in an open doorway. They could now also see the formerly concealed space on the opposite side of the doorway, where a naked body was crouched against the wall, twitching slightly with its face in its hands. The body was a looped and filtered recording of the artist, posed so that its age, health and gender were indeterminate. If the visitor looked for the body directly, they would not find it; it was a kind of digital mirage that could only be witnessed through mediation.
The work continued an interest in social visibility and responsibility and marked a development of the live video-compositing technique first used in 'Private View' 2008. 237 was the number of the studio in the art institution where the installation was sited: it is also the number of the hotel room in Kubrick's version of 'The Shining' where the caretaker stacked the bodies of his murdered family.
Room 237 is one outcome of an ongoing body of research. Areas have included the ethics of war photography; how human suffering is represented and the related notions of endurance, transcendence and authenticity in the work of Chris Burden and Marina Abramovic.