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Christopher Reid: We Replace

Process Room, 21.09.04- 03.10.04

Christopher Reid, We Replace, Process Room, 2004

"This work began as a series of written textual fragments that originated from many sources including my personal diaries, writings, conversations with others, various theoretical books self-help books and self-hypnosis tapes. I edited these and displaced then into designed versions of government health warnings and those instructional notices that appear on various commodities and that carry information of public importance. Each of the texts was given a uniform typographical treatment and was laser printed onto A4 label paper and was cut to size.

I then further displaced the texts by placing them in a semi-random way onto the public/private, real and virtual surfaces and spaces of this city. I wanted this distribution to yield unexpected readings ranging from the trivial, the angry, the ambivalent, the paranoid etc. I wanted the synergy of site and form and text to produce unexpected figures of speech, narrative and interpretation.

One text fragment appeared to sum up many of the concerns running through the work. I had this silk screened into two advertising formats (four sheet and six sheet respectively). This title text, printed in the forms of conventional public advertising formats were placed into various advertising spaces around the city. Many were placed into a very contemporary form of advertising display, which can be seen on many of the building site hoardings, walls and shop gable walls around the city. I would site only one or two at the most at each site as I wished the text in its amplified form to appropriate the meanings of the accompanying advertismants. I also wanted them to comment on the meanings embedded in the changing physical site itself and the self-serving private commercial interests that constantly displace those meanings. I wanted the voice in three posters to function with ambivalence, being possibly that of a marketing department, or the advertisers, or developers, or the viewers, or some demented individual or artist. Three six-sheet posters were installed in light box panels at Tara Street Station, a place where people rush through to go somewhere else i.e. the suburbs or to work. I wanted to use this site as both a literalisation of the anxieties I am trying to articulate and also a metaphor for a contemporary social malaise. It is a place of no community and little or no contact with other people. It is also a place where a lot of advertising is displayed both printed and audio- visual. It is a place of silence and surveillance where people dream of being someplace else.

Most of the material placed in public spaces was photographed. I have selected a series of these photographs to be displayed alongside the actual texts and one of the advertising posters. I also selected one of these photographs to be printed up in the form of a postcard. In this specific image the discourses of the commercial sex industry , the Joyce industry, and my own practice are conflated into the one piece.

Regarding the work I have displayed. I see this process of working as being flexible, open- ended and ongoing. I see this work as being both public and personal, a visual/ verbal narrative of some of the conflicts, displacements, dreams and difficulties of negotiating the contemporary city.

Christopher Reid, 16th September 2004.

For a printable version of this document please download the following document  Christopher Reid, Process Room doc.

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