Polished stainless steel


Polished stainless steel letters over half a metre tall spell out the word PUBLICSFEAR. This text work by Forsyth & Pollard was to provide the title for their solo show at South London Gallery in 2011. The work was born out of their pursuit to experiment with the relationship between performer and audience, art and it’s viewer.

As well as the wordplay deriving from ‘public’s fear’, the work itself is also a simple act of reflection. In the dimly lit installation of the South London Gallery the work reflected the video projections of other works, reminding us that as a viewer we’re always implicated in their work. Whether it’s under scrutiny from Iain Lee in Performer. Audience. Fuck Off. (2009), targeted by Plan B in Walking After Acconci (2005) or the subject of a subliminal message in Silent Sound (2006), there’s always an undercurrent, something unsettling going on in the background. But rather than reflecting on the past, PUBLICSFEAR pulls the present into sharp focus.

PUBLICSFEAR at South London Gallery (2011)

“As observers we attempt to escape and transcend the self, but risk the tables turning and having the focus put back on the self in a more vulnerable, public position. However, if we succeed in transcending the self, we can be distracted, informed and entertained by the performer highlighting the world around us and its more luminous qualities. The performer does the opposite, trading certain exposition of the self for forum of expression wherein there is both artistic/emotional release and enlightenment on behalf of a larger group, thus fulfilling the human need to contribute to community. PUBLICSFEAR captures this tumultuous, ever-complex and fruitful relationship as accurately as two artists possibly can in one room.” – Dulwich OnView

Download the South London Gallery exhibition guide for PUBLICSFEAR here (262kb pdf).



Polished stainless steel

420cm X 56cm

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