MiniDV, color, sound. TRT 2:26 min
This video was filmed on Kingsland Road, in London’s East End, and shows the composition of an urban landscape through the mundane action of scraping a window. The action shows the proposition that affirms that every landscape is a construct, and in this case is both-at-once an illusion and a revelation.
The composition of the work is akin to drawing, in the way the frame is gradually revealed. But it is also similar to collage: the scraping reduces the opaque and gives way to an illusory and reflected landscape that merges with the action. In this sense the real picture frame is the window, and three different planes are at work simultaneously on it: the window/mirror itself with its changing opacities and the inside and the outside.
This capacity to capture several states within the same surface is what makes the landscape come through in a site-specific way, in a manner that includes its own making, its people, the traffic and the sounds and the views: all on Kingsland Road.
The constant sound of the scraping, mixed in with the sounds of the street, works to remind viewers that what they are watching is a product of human labour. And that repetition, intermingled with glimpses of people scraping, gives way to a realization that in this case, the most important part of the landscape is the people shaping it before us, it is a construction in an indirect but literal way.