This is a solo exhibition by artist Kenji Yamada who is residency artist through Tokyo Wonder Site exchange program, at Morgue Gallery for innovating the remain of the Millbank Penitentiary. The remains of the prison still survive on top of and below the site. Underneath 'The Morpeth Arms', a pub that opened next to the prison as a place for guards to relax, lie the remains of the prison, which are said to have been used as an underground tunnel to connect the prison to boats waiting on the Thames river. Tales of prisoners escaping via the tunnel continue to be told.
Gary Willison, the owner of The Morpeth Arms, installed a CCTV camera in the underground tunnel and projects the feed on a monitor in the pub, playfully sharing everything happening in the present moment within the historic tunnels. Yamada, who is strongly interested in the pub's semi-public nature and the new relations formed by the playful interaction between Gary's historic and modern artifacts, is planning a talk show that will engage interactively with the entire pub. It will be a peculiar talk show event, where videos of the panelists recorded on the audience's 'compromised' mobiles will be projected in the underground prison tunnel, which will then be shared on the monitors installed throughout the pub via the CCTV camera underground.
The hope is that a new form of publicness will be created via this experiment by innovatively adding to the original qualities of the building and its surveillance system by using the underground tunnel, which was originally part of the prison, as a site to project videos and information.
Perhaps the modern architecture of the panopticon designed by Jeremy Bentham expresses the images and various devices that are part of our daily lives. This project aim to create a social intervention to reveal the state of our awareness in the post-Snowden era after 2013.
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