Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Insider

Artist: Sarah Scarsbrook
Location: Corridor that leads round the back of the cinema.
Medium: Photography
Comment: This collection of photographs has been specially collated with the idea of the ‘private’ in mind. They have been obtained from various art institutions across London and include images of the backstage and essentially private areas which only staff can gain access to.

The buildings, in which art world giants reside, can leave staff in a state of unabated boredom or inquisitive stupors. However, there are places behind the shiny veneer of the curated façade where a truer identity can be unearthed. There are places where vital matter is concealed, where equipment is stowed, where people can escape via in emergencies and where decisions are made. Reality occurs and ideas flow in these anonymous often vacuous and imposing corridors of pipes, wires and green running man signs. The cavernous voids are functional, naked, hostile and essential all at once. Often these empty yet operational spaces are not considered with great importance, they are mere ways to get from A to B, to house water and gas piping or hide other less discerning realities.

In the spaces behind the doors marked ‘private’ there are areas to escape to away from the invasive public eye, where the staff member finds solitude and a place to relax and forget about the sympathetic gaze of the visitor. My experience of this is that the areas behind the ‘staff only’ doors are in stark contrast to that which the public encounter.

The idea of the clandestine backstage, behind the scenes, highlights the notion of the understated importance of necessity. In celebration of the out of bounds and to applaud the much talked about prohibited backstage areas the collection seeks to provide a probing gaze into the forbidden, only to find that its full of the mundane and banal realism to be expected in a place of work, with a few little happenings to cause intrigue and further inspection.


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