Something for the Eye’: an intervention by John Murphy (the Regency Town House restoration project)
Seddon, Jill (2007) Something for the Eye’: an intervention by John Murphy (the Regency Town House restoration project) In: Woodham, Jonathan and Tomlinson, Alan, eds. Image, Power and Space: Studies in Consumption and Identity. Chelsea School Research Centre Edition ( Vol. 11). Meyer and Meyer Sport, Maidenhead, UK, pp. 67-81. ISBN 978-1-84126-244-4Full text not available from this repository.
This chapter reflects upon, and analyses, a temporary intervention by artist John Murphy at the Regency Town House, Hove as part of the Brighton Festival fringe, in May-June 2004. It represented a unique collaboration between an important local restoration project and a contemporary artist and was the first of a series of cultural interventions within the house’s historic interiors. Research developed, and published, over several years was drawn upon in the planning stages of Murphy’s piece. Although the work no longer has a physical presence in the house, his installation raised questions that remain valid, concerning site specificity, history, public and private spaces and the role of vision in the creation and consumption of pleasure. The house itself performed a role that went far beyond just providing a venue, forming a symbiotic relationship with the objects placed by Murphy within its interiors and offering up multiple readings of the event. Powerful themes of desire, sexual appetite and the commoditisation of the body were quietly insinuated into these domestic spaces, engaging their audience in a visual and verbal dialogue. Murphy’s exploration of the interaction of sight and language through the juxtaposition of text, object and image resonated with the physical traces of original functions of the house and its present restoration. The article examines the ways in which a specific historic site added new layers of meaning to Murphy’s work within the context of the history of site-specific art.
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