Vanishing Point is a series of images which deals with the socio-political role of public spaces – specifically ‘monumental spaces’. The work deals with the role of history in defining space, society, and the individual – how the monuments of the past are called upon to define the present, and to define our morally ideal roles within that present.
A public space becomes a monumental space through the appropriation of classical modes of representation – space is organised with the help of perspective to establish the monument as a central focal point. This operates as a first step in establishing the space of the monument as the space of established authority. In such spaces the inhabitants – the people – are subsumed. They become unwitting participants in a historical representation.
The images in ‘Vanishing Point’ are of significant monuments in the London and Helsinki, however in each image the focal point – that is, the monument itself – has been ‘removed’. This has the effect of emphasising the spatial relationships which exist between people and monumental spaces, rather than the monument itself. In the images the public appear to be gathering around an apparently empty space – but it is precisely the appearance of emptiness that draws the spectator’s attention. The normally unnoticed relations between people and spaces are emphasised and made highly significant. The homogenising effect created by the vast space of the monument is removed, allowing the people to be seen as individuals rather than ‘the masses’.
The image of the removed Mannerheim memorial from Helsinki was created specifically for exhibition in Finland. With much of my work I prefer to deal with issues which relate to the location of exhibition – thus I felt it was necessary to include a significant monument from Helsinki while exhibiting here, as many of the London monuments might only be recognised by long-term visitors to London.
It is hoped that the series will soon be continued and exhibited in other European countries.
Lambda digital prints on photographic paper
Image area 50cm x 50cm
Framed area 80cm x 100cm