July 2015

The Workhouse
new expressions

BlindSpot_01BlindSpot_02BlindSpot_03early morning againBlindSpot (T Shore) 03TWH Southwell WindowBlindSpot (T Shore) 05

Credits

BlindSpot a film installation for The Workhouse, Southwell by Tim Shore. Sound by Brendan Crehan. Harmonium played by Derek Wileman.

Friday 24 July to Sunday 1 November 2015.

BlindSpot is a project for New Expressions 3, an Arts Council England national pathfinder programme that fosters collaboration between contemporary artists and museums.

This extract is from a presentation speech I made at The Workhouse shortly after the installation had opened to the public.

… I’m not going to say too much about BlindSpot, but I will talk a little about my inspiration for the work and how it is installed in The Workhouse.

When I first visited The Workhouse I was struck by the austere physical presence of the building and its material qualities, and as I researched the site and began to know the building better I realised that what was most interesting was what wasn’t there. The absence of the people – deserving and undeserving – who had lived and worked here. The building is swept clean and the traces of those lives can be hard to find. So the intangible – memory, trace, time, absence – became the subject and theme of the work.

BlindSpot is a film about three and a half minutes long and it plays on a loop. It is projected on to a peeling painted wall of one of the empty dormitories. It lightly touches the building.

BlindSpot is both a literal and metaphoric title. In one corner of the ‘able bodied men’s’ exercise yard, hard against the wall there is a blind spot. A place where one could become invisible. Out of sight of the masters and matrons gaze. Along that same wall someone at some point has carved a crude sundial into the soft red brick.

I think this blind spot was a place to rebel, to restate one’s humanity in what was an inhumane system and place.