This series of photographs of Paddington Green High Security Police Station extends Moore’s ongoing conceptual and theoretical investigations into the apparatus of the state. The photographs are unprecedented and constitute a unique record, showing an area never before photographed and unlikely to be photographed again in the future.
In 2007, a Parliamentary Human Rights committee stated that the old and decrepit mid-1960s police station was "plainly inadequate" to hold high-risk prisoners. Lord Carlile, the official reviewer of the government's terrorism laws, said the Metropolitan Police needed a new custody suite suitable for extended periods of detention without charge that had been extended to 28 days. Refurbishments were made in 2009 at a cost of £490,000, giving suspects access to an audio-visual system on which they could watch films and listen to music.
Access was negotiated by the artist directly with the Metropolitan Police over a six-month period. Moore was allowed access briefly when the refurbishments were complete. The work he made attempts to record, interpret and negotiate the anomalies of a refurbished complex, which rubs up against the fabric of older police cultures.
In common with ‘The Last Things’, the photographs in ‘28 days’ begin to acknowledge the impositions, censorship and contextual elements around the production of the photographs. In the exhibition of the work at the Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool, textual information afforded the audience additional perspectives: the fact that a bed was ‘made up’ and ‘turned back’ by a police officer prior to Moore’s taking of a photograph, or that books were placed in the same cell in an attempt to visually soften the environment, were elements of a mise-en-scène that pointed to the constructed nature of the imagery.