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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.