Materials: Urinal cistern, submersible video camera, transmitter,
receiver, 12" monitor
In 2001 Gary Perkins installed a commissioned artwork involving a
complex series of miniature video cameras that run through 4 floors
of the Keppel Street building. Using cables that run along side those
of the buildings electrical systems the work took us to hidden ducts
and floor spaces that link departments and offices. In another new
site specific work for the school it is the plumbing that supplies
the necessary support for a small scale drama that will remind us
of our complicated relationships with water, including its cleansing
and life giving properties.
Situated in the main ground floor gents toilets, the continually flushing
cisterns of the mens urinals house an otherwise unseen internal
space that floods and empties in a small scale natural disaster. Every
few minutes the water level rises in a torrent that, seen through
the lens of a submerged video camera, creates images of newsreel and
biblical proportions. Seen on a monitor some distance from the privacy
of the Gents toilets, a tableau involving a trapped and sinking vehicle
threatening to be swept away by a huge weight of water is repeatedly
viewed, each time different and each time a little more suffocating.
The video images that characterise Gary Perkins work are always
live and unrecorded, and are often familiar; borrowing from sources
as far reaching as Hollywood disaster movies to caught on camera amateur
footage. Not surprisingly then, that, from a growing interest in reality
TV, this work reflects the invasive camera position popularised by
images from news reports, CCTV operator: black and white (almost still)
scenes of corridors and fire exits and more recently the jerky web
cam and video files downloaded from the internet.
Gary Perkins work was included in New Contemporaries 1996
and Material Culture at the Hayward Gallery.
updated 27.11.02 | site designed and maintained by Adrian