In the Midst

The Swiss Church, Covent Garden, London, UK - October 2003

‘In the Midst’ is an installation work commissioned for the exhibition In Light of Transient Aims … curated by Robin Wilson at the Swiss Church in Covent Garden. In the church a line of text along the apse reads ‘He who comes shall not be cast out’ (John 6.36). For ‘In the Midst’, this line is translated, truncated and displaced externally onto the front façade using a combination of vinyl lettering and video. The video shows text being scripted onto dermagraphic skin using a needle in a candid reference to the church’s locatedness two doors down from a shelter housing members of the community with severe drug addictions. The text is situated so that when the door to the Church is closed the line reads ‘HE WHO COMES SHALL NOT BE CAST OUT’. However, when the door is open it reads ‘HE WHO COMES SHALL BE CAST OUT.’ Meanwhile, bits of textual ‘detritus’ are distributed across the façade to present a metaphorical conjunctive to the issues raised in the project while serving, perhaps, as a kind of epitaph: ‘With the dust of the once-was settling, like a choice …’ Initially conceived as an attempt to integrate the inside of the church with its geographical and sociological outside, ‘In the Midst’ ultimately reflects the seeming futility of this endeavour by physically ‘thickening’ the church façade with layers of text, video images and objects. (Video clip forthcoming below.)