+ -

Panopticon Letter’s Missive I

Alia Syed

United Kingdom, , 2013
24 minutes, Colour, Stereo, 16:9
Original format: Video & 16mm transferred to HD video
Available formats: HD Video / / / BluRay / HD Digital file

Panopticon Letters Missive I Combines Syed’s interest in storytelling with a compelling presentation of history as a visual narrative. Exploring ideas of memory, techniques of the body and colonialism, within the tradition of landscape painting, footage of the river Thames in London is altered to bring about a false relationship between sky and water. This is set against the technical descriptions of the architectural plans for an ideal prison as read from ‘The Panopticon Letters’ of Jeremy Bentham (1748‐1832), who had first identified the Millbank site for the construction of his Panopticon. The darkness of the severed horizon‐line allows different modes of address to emerge within a correspondence of letters, reformulating a multitude of narratives of time and place.