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UAL Research Online

Hotel Metropole

Seth, John (2003) Hotel Metropole. [Art/Design Item]

Type of Research: Art/Design Item
Creators: Seth, John

I was invited to contribute to this group exhibition that comprised 29 artists. My contribution was 'Hotel Metropole (13 December 2002)', a two monitor video work approximately 14 minutes long. This particular work was initiated by news reports in the media of the discovery of migrants found in carpet containers unloaded at Dover docks. The location of the gallery provided the point of reference, both in its proximity to Dover and in relation to the history of The Metropole building as hotel and it current use, alongside that as a public gallery, as comprising private apartments.

The title of the work, 'Hotel Metropole (13 December 2002)', alludes to the site as an ‘economic machine’ (from cleaning staff to managers), an allegory of the metropolis, and the time specific to the action performed.

The performance draws a line between the edge of the sea at the bottom of a cliff-face and the lower-ground floor of the building (which faces the sea) in which the Metropole Gallery is located. The action that draws this association is (a) the collection of a pale of water from the sea (English Channel), and (b) the dragging of the pale along a corridor floor in the basement of the building using an improvised string-harness. This work is the result of my
continuing research into questions of performativity, action and subjectivity. It constitutes a politics of ‘action’ that is formed thorough a constellation of events and sites. The constellation here is not simply one of bringing together disparate elements, but of producing a place of contestation, of splitting apart – here in relation to economics and labour, geography (headland meeting sea) and architecture (promenade, gallery and lower quarters).

Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: RAE2008 UoA63
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Central Saint Martins
Date: 2 March 2003
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2009 23:34
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2014 11:10
Item ID: 1493
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1493

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