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River Boats & Inner Thoughts

The boat is a floating piece of space, a place without a place (…) the heterotopia par excellence. 

Michel Foucault

For a year, I photographed the boats going by my window on the river Thames. Once central to English life, the ‘most historical (and certainly the most eventful) river in the world' (Peter Ackroyd), crucial to the construction of Britain as Empire and its subsequent industrialisation, its waters and the air above dark from the non stop river traffic, the Thames is now a post-industrial river, carrying little more than “pleasure boats” and speeding police patrols.

One day as I was looking out, I caught my reflection in a small mirror on the window frame. There was I, the one observing the boats. How banal and how disturbing. Suddenly, outside and inside, window and mirror, subject and object, were conflated and became one…
River Boats & Inner Thoughts consists in a "calendiary": a one year daily photographic record of the boats navigating the Thames, paired with a textual record of my subjective, psychological states. Issued daily in digital format using the online platform Facebook, it's a work about surveillance (of exterior life and of the self), about the river Thames and its uses in a post-industrial metropolis, about the relationship between inside and outside and the psychoanalytic subject/ object division. Its scripto-visual form expands on traditional documentary strategies and proposes a comment on the use of social media.

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