HS Projects commissioned Jenny Chong, Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen, Dominic Lewis and Emily Webber for a site specific exhibition to create visual responses to Cable & Wireless’ headquarters in Theobalds Road, London. The exhibition examined ideas around corporate identity, process and the physicality of the office environment.
Jenny Chong was inspired by the different hand gestures captured in a series of commissioned photographs in the company’s Report and Accounts and transformed a list of stated corporate goals and objectives into questions that provoked thoughtful engagement.
Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen explored the iconography of the various software programmes used by Cable & Wireless employees in their day to day activities. Larsen worked the app icons into a series of individual colour saturated large framed images installed in sequences to challenge the perception of this otherwise mundane imagery. At times in a playful manner, as with the ‘Bin/Trash’ icon installed in the lower right corner of the lift lobby.
Emily Webber was inspired by the collections of family photographs and holiday postcards used to personalise and demarcate an individual’s space. Focussing on the concept of holiday postcards, she distilled the variety down to four generic types installed in sequences high on the walls, evoking the personalisation of the work spaces and their screens.
Dominic Lewis took his inspiration from the interior architecture of the Theobalds Road building. Lewis installed Cable & Wireless blue coloured silk ribbon behind perspex strips into the architecturally decorative grooves running along the walls creating a dialogue between the idea of corporate identity, branding and space. He also worked with instructional texts, such as the ‘Override’ button in the lifts, installing the command in large red lettering onto the wall next to the lifts in the lift lobbies.
Works by Jenny Chong, Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen, Dominic Lewis and Emily Webber were exhibited in 2002 as part of the Cable & Wireless Exhibition Programme, 1992 – 2006.
HS Projects commissioned Jenny Chong, Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen, Dominic Lewis and Emily Webber for a site specific exhibition at Marks & Spencer’s headquarters in Baker Street. During that time, Marks & Spencer was undergoing a period of change and the artists made work that responded to that change.
Jenny Chong, inspired by the memorials in the building’s receptions to M&S staff who died in the two world wars, created a wall based text installation as a ’memorial’ to all existing M&S employees working at the Marks & Spencer’s headquarters.
Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen explored the idea of ‘Forms’, creating a ‘cinematic’ commentary on the process of change Marks & Spencer was undergoing. A performative work, ‘Forms’ morphed from an informational gathering administrative form into an abstraction of forms mimicking the effect of a flick book as the viewer passed along the corridor.
Emily Webber was inspired by the geography of the space, a corridor that snaked its way through various departments. She explored ideas around corridors of power, labyrinths and infinity by documenting a previous exhibition in the space and then manipulating the images to create a sense of an endless corridor with no beginning or end.
Dominic Lewis took his inspiration from the pockmarked surface of the walls with their history of pin holes and pencil marks from previous exhibitions. Lewis photographed specific sites with a large format camera and then transformed the image through a re-contextualization by mounting A4 sized prints onto unprimed 10mm thick A4 MDF boards, which were then re-installed over or adjacent to the documented wall, creating a dialogue between the idea of value, authenticity and ownership.
The exhibition was curated by HS Projects in 2001 as part of the Marks & Spencer Head Office Cultural Programme, 1993-2004.