The Gatekeepers

2001
Country: United Kingdom,
Duration: 15 mins
Colour: Colour
Available Format/s: DVD / SD Digital file
Original Format: SD video
Themes: 
  • Private / Public

Archivists usually go unnoticed, but here they are the focus of attention; they speak for themselves; interpret their own roles-perform for the camera. Work environments influence people’s behaviour; physical surroundings as well as the minute detail of office hierarchies affect the way people move and interact. These interviews take place in the archives’ strongroom and reading room. The set-up is simple, and the archivists speak on their own, and for themselves. The archivists’ demeanour and their answers suggest the presence of an interlocutor, but she is firmly absent. The obtrusive editing makes that presence doubly felt. The video explores the idea of the malleable self, which is moulded through language and gesture, in order to adapt to, or resist, the different environments it finds itself in. The archive is a real place, but as well as a structure and an institution, it is also a powerful symbol of society’s handling of history and control of knowledge and power.

  ,

More works by Ruth Maclennan

UK
, 2009
14 Minutes

We’d love to hear from you

If you would like to speak to a member of our team, please get in touch

VISIT US

LUX, Waterlow Park Centre,
Dartmouth Park Hill, London, N19 5JF, UK

Telephone: +44 (0)20 3141 2960

Sign up to our newswire to stay up to date with everything LUX

LUX is a registered charity and not-for-profit company limited by guarantee:

Company No: 4421812
VAT No: 795 9063 73
Charity No: 1094936

Artis Council Supported Logo

© 2021 LUX. All rights reserved.

Skip to content