Buried Alive

Buried Alive was a solo exhibition at the Cabinet Gallery, Brixton that took place in March 1994. It was an attempt to understand and exorcise an impersonal but entirely subjective, information-mapping system that had become increasingly autonomous in the preceding years. These interior maps, all locations in my home city of York, had become covered with precisely located informational silos that were connected by associative links. I created wall maps throughout the gallery attempting to plot the interwoven associative networks and to unearth the unconscious processes creating them.

The promotional material explaining the basic premise of the show can be found here.

The show also included a series of post-mortem portraits of friends who had a strong influence on my thinking at the time: Paul Buck, Don David, Alec Dippie, Fiona Hovenden, Nick Land and Martin McGowan. Paul Buck imagined himself as Fay Wray in the 1933 version of King Kong.

Alec Dippie imagined himself shot by a photo booth.

Fiona Hovenden, whose partner Saul Taylor had recently killed himself and to whom the exhibition was dedicated, imagined herself in a photograph made by their favourite crime writer Jim Thompson for True Detective magazine.

Martin McGowan, co-founder of the Cabinet gallery, left it up to me to decide how he should be depicted. I asked my friend Anne-Marie Padden to visit the gallery and shoot him with a replica handgun. The image was captured by my friend Bill Hoyle as the shot was fired. Unfortunately the flash never fired and I assumed the image was lost. The act was however caught on the negative which was printed at A1 size for the exhibition.

The mock assassination of Martin McGowan
Martin McGowan alive and well with Anne-Marie Padden after mock assassination

For the show I created a publication Buried Alive: Mortification and Monadology that explained the basic premises of the show and reflected on the problem of ‘psychic cartography’.

A PDF of the publication can be found here.