Empty Spaces: In Remembrance


Empty Spaces: In Remembrance

April 2011

The Rag Factory, London, UK

Empty Spaces: In Remembrance was created in the spring of 2011 and exhibited as part of the group show Ragged, at The Rag Factory, London, UK, from 1st to the 3rd April 2011.

Empty Spaces: In Remembrance presents three photographs of three seemingly empty spaces with three different benches in them. The benches are differently featured in the photographs in terms of their distance and placing, and one has a dedication plaque on it which is a dedication to the children who died in the New Cross fire. Another of the benches is in an empty playground, and the third has some graffiti on it. Visible in the photos are also the edge of some empty tennis courts and an empty cycle lane in front of one of the benches. Below each of the photographs is a pair of headphones, hanging from a bracket mounted from behind the photograph’s frame. The headphones are connected to mp3 players, which are hidden behind the photographs. Playing on each set of headphones are binaural sound recordings made from the same spot the corresponding photograph was taken from. They vary in their length between four minutes and twelve minutes. Each is played in a constant loop and is unaltered. Each relates to the photograph to which it is attached.

The work explores themes of transience and impermanence, trace and lack of trace, presence and absence. How can the activity which has been present in a space be perceived when it is no longer present? How can people’s presence be perceived when they are no longer present?

Sound is transient, temporary in its evanescence. Sound does not stay it diffuses and dissipates. Sound is a temporary, present state of energy. Sound exists in time and is perceived in relation to what happens before and after it. Sound requires time in which to be perceived and in which to exist, and yet, paradoxically, with time sounds fade and die and cease to exist.

Original images and sound recordings from the work:

Image 1 (left)


Image 2 (centre)


Image 3 (right)