In the context of the international Covid-19 lockdown, which meant that all galleries and public spaces were closed, I was recently invited to takeover the Instagram account of the Kunsthaus Centre d’Art Pasquart, Biel/ Bienne, Switzerland, where I had a solo exhibition of my work from September - November 2016. I posted a short video every hour, on the hour, throughout the 24 hour period, weaving together recordings made from the radio (BBC News), or in train stations (announcements concerning the lockdown - telling people to ‘stay at home’), as well as a series of short films taken around my own apartment, where I have been staying in all day, and in my studio, where I read out extracts from my diary. Bells; the ‘pips’ on
the radio that mark the hours, and recordings of clock faces feature heavily. Two thirds of the posts document my life confined to my home, while from 2000 hrs BST onwards (after sunset), the videos record a night walk that I took across the City of London, from Paddington Station to the Royal Courts of Justice. My practice frequently turns to the diaristic mode, but I use things such as year planners, calendars and clock time primarily as structuring devices, that allow me to let something accidental and contingent into a narrative. With this piece, my guiding rule was the opening statement in Roland Barthes’s ‘autobiographical’ book RB/RB, 1975: “it must all be considered as if spoken by a character in a novel.”
Susan Morris, 2020.