Valentina Ferrandes

Videomaker & Media Artist

COUNCIL ESTATE / MI5 + Two videos on loop + 2010

The two videos are part of an ongoing investigation on the effect of architecture on social behaviour and ultimately the political implications of its representation in video and photography. The act of looking at and recording is more politicized in certain areas of London rather than others, while recording people remains a variously justifiable act of breaking one’s own privacy. The video maker is welcomed or expelled by the public realm, according to very different topical and localized agendas. Its status as curious, inoffensive, dangerous, suspicious, or indifferent, is applied by its audience while “performing” the act of filming. As a response to the open call to create a series of Video paintings for the first edition of the Open Prize for Video Painting, I decided to depict two buildings.The first is a council building in a high crime area in London, and the second is the iconic MI5, which hosts the british secret services.

While filming the MI5, my presence wasn’t directly questioned, in a council estate in Hackney, my camera raised some of the locals’ interest. The action in these works is very minimal, individuals move in the foreground of an extremely defined architectural surrounding. Their presence is evidently peripheral.

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