the Olympic Site was a performative project carried out between 2006 and
2008 initiated in response to the compulsory purchase of the 500 acres
that now make up the Olympic Park. I appointed myself Artist in Residence
two months before access to the area was restricted by the locally infamous
blue fence; my intention was simply to regularly perform the action of
trespass across its length and breadth. The project questioned the reality
of public ownership in a privatised world by regularly attempting to traverse
this patrolled enclosure alone and on foot, treating literally the notion
of it as London’s newest public park.
Performances, which took place at night, unannounced, on a monthly basis
throughout the two year period, were conceived not as actions to be watched
but tasks to be carried out; the aim being to remain hidden from my potential
audience of security guards, demolition workers and dog patrols. I documented
the work in a series of staged digital stills, using the camera’s
built in shutter delay and exposures of up to a minute. Initially these
images were simply a means of recording my presence, but as the project
wore on they became spaces to pit myself against the increasingly dehumanised
landscape, chances to comment, albeit silently, on the transformations
that took place between my visits.
An excerpt from the project's blog was published in June 2012
The Art of Dissent: Adventures in
London's Olympic State.