The residue of everyday life. A pile of black bags found in the street sparked an investigation into the whereabouts of a family that had seemingly disappeared. Amongst their possessions were family photographs, a marriage certificate, utility bills, food, clothes, toys, books, records, school reports and other personal documents. It soon became apparent that something happened that had caused this family to leave in a hurry. Were they intending to return at some point?
This found material became the basis for an installation – a wall text with items presented on shelves to illustrate conclusions reached from extensive analysis of their belongings. The rest of the material was presented as it was originally found – in a pile of black bags in the middle of the space.
Amongst the items examined were a few unmarked cassette tapes. On one of the tapes was a recording of the whole family taking it in turns to sing on a home karaoke machine including fights over the microphone between songs. It was an unsettling experience – to hear the actual voices of these people whose possessions I had been sifting through for the past few months. It made them real in a way that none of the other stuff, including the photographs could have – and it had a profound effect on me.
Interim Show Installation, Mackintosh Building, GSA, 1997.