St. Saviour’s Emergency Private Shelter
Single Channel Video 3’10”, Customized fence, handcrafted cement blocks, 2012
The work consists of a short video and two installed pieces, one inside and one outside the church, which demarcate the entrance and the exit to the emergency shelter respectively. Existing architectural features of the church space were used to create the illusion that the crypt of the church was an emergency shelter. The video infomercial is promotional and parodic in tone as it focuses on the tremendous benefits and the sense of luxurious exclusivity associated with living under the ground. Since in fact the Aberdeen Park Maintenance Company is registered at the same address, in order to provide exclusive services to a private residents’ committee, the artist offers an exclusive, state-of-the-art security service to committee members.
The work, therefore, is not only a spatial and architectural response to the Florence Trust site, but also alludes to the current and former roles of St. Saviour’s as a church, an art institution and as a service provider. The work addresses themes of exclusivity, salvation, sanctuary and false promises, aiming to combine these elements in an institutional critique.