Copyright Maren Hahnfeld 2019

WORKERS AT THE LONDON CITY HALL, 2013 (Duration: 2’30’’, Format: HD)

 

This TapeSlide consists of stills of the interior of the London City Hall with cleaners and porters fading in and out of each shot. A soundtrack of hovering, recorded by the cleaners themselves, accompanies these images. The starting point for this project was the desire to produce a body of photographs for an exhibition. My research has shown that cleaners feel invisible; they perform a crucial role, yet, are hardly ever noticed nor held in high regard. During the work process I realised that my story would be best told through the medium of TapeSlide. TapeSlide enabled me to produce a film where the cleaners are presented as ‘phantoms’, barely visible, yet present. Tidy, crisp images are juxtaposed by the ‘messy’ recording of cleaning in process. Economic migrants clean this country’s most important institutions. What are the implications on our collective conscience if the poor from around the globe clean the buildings that define Britain as a democracy? Where better to portray this moral dilemma than at London City Hall, home of Boris Johnson, conservative mayor of this city. Due to its egalitarian notions the London Assembly is an ideal institution for this project. This project has been exhibited at Photofusion SALON/13 December 2013.