Stefan Szczelkun organised this amazing performance art spectacular.
…This piece was produced within this framework, in 1985, on the streets of Brixton, a predominantly black working class neighbourhood, located in the outskirts of London. Hatoum carried out two performances pertaining to an action organised by another artist Stefan Szczelkun entitled Road Works, in which the intention was to create a relationship between a specific group of artists intervening in an impoverished community. In this way, these artists would produce their work in an environment and for an audience very different that that customarily visiting museums and galleries. Hatoum is portrayed in the photograph barefoot and strolling along the neighbourhood streets with a pair of heavy Doc Marten’s boots tied to her ankles. Her feet appear naked and vulnerable compared to the sturdy boots traditionally worn by the police or by skinheads. The artist presents herself as an impoverished person who questions the system, trying to make manifest its structural mechanism through an action in which even the basic act of walking becomes difficult. In another of the artist’s performance, carried out with Szczelkun himself, two people with their mouths covered with masking tape, dressed in black jumpers and also barefoot, intermittently lay down, the person remaining standing a white mark, like those at the scene of a crime, around the body of the prostrate person. Right away, the person on the ground substitutes the imaginary forensic officer, this time outlining the silhouette of the person that had been standing up before, and leaving the outlines of the fallen bodies on the ground. This type of action gradually disappeared from her work as they began to be absorbed by the institutions, and subsequently losing their impact and political resonance.”
Artists in show:
Rasheed Araeen, Marc Elmes, Patrick Gilbert, Mona Hatoum, John Hewitt, Kasia Januszko, Roland Miller, Carlyle Reedy, Ian Sherman, Kumiko Shimizu, Stefan Szczelkun, Gennaro Telaro