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.