Where the Streets Have No Name: ‘Essentially Captured’ Examines Another Side to Corporate London

Continuing to add to his rapidly expanding portfolio of work, emerging video artist Asad Yawar addresses three key themes in his contested February 2014 work Essentially Captured:

  1. Disorientation. The first image the viewer is presented with is an arrow sign next to some construction paraphenalia – but the observer is not left with any precise idea of what this signifies, at least initially.
  2. Authority. The camera switches to a panoramic view of a notice explaining the nature and necessity of the roadworks. The artist then focuses in on the word ‘essential’, probably with a relatively high degree of irony.
  3. State Capture. The date by which the roadworks will be completed – and the residents and users of the Chelsea street in which they are taking place will cease to be inconvenienced – has been left blank, possibly in a nod to the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991, which left the UK’s highways at the mercy of workmen from innumerable utilities companies; in this vision of the relationship between the state and other powerful actors, the former have become not merely responsive to but captured by private interests – at a significant, possibly unquantifiable cost.

1 Comment

Filed under Culture, Law, Technology, Urban Life

One response to “Where the Streets Have No Name: ‘Essentially Captured’ Examines Another Side to Corporate London

  1. Well I think No. 3 is something people should definitely know about, the complex politics of roadworks and the absence of thought given to the inconvenience to the general public. There’s a powerlessness about so much in our society. No one seems accountable for so many things that happen, and that very much undermines our democracy

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