'Impersonating a Part-time Police Community Support Officer', 2007 - 2010

-Fabricated uniform, scripted presentation, Q&A session

(Above: Amongst the crowds at 'No Soul For Sale' Tate Modern, May 2010. Photo courtesy Kevin Sykes)

'Impersonating a Part-time PCSO' is a performance piece where I am invited to attend an art event in my handmade approximation of a Police Community Support Officer uniform then give a talk to the gathered crowds pretending - or rather, lying - that I now support my art practice financially by working as one part-time. This is then followed by a question and answer session to guage the audience's reaction, approval or dissaporoval.

 

To date I have been asked to perform it three times:

 

-It was initially commissioned for 'Itchy Park: Duality' curated by Eleanor Vonne Brown, Laura Lord and Emily Wardill at Limehouse Town Hall, London in March 2007 for the one-day live event. For this event I roamed the room in costume for the duration of the event, engaging in conversation with the audience and helping out where needed.

 

-The second was at Goldsmith College in February 2010 for the exhibition 'Performance Metrics' curated by Elisa Kay and Shama Khanna. For this event I added the Q&A element to focus on the audience's reactions and questions.

 

-It was last presented at Tate Modern in 2010 during 'No Soul For Sale' curated by Maurizio Cattelan, Cecilia Alemani and Massimiliano Gioni, at the invitation of i-cabin. This provided the largest audience to date, including a Q&A with the whole Turbine Hall.

(Above: Onstage at 'No Soul For Sale' Tate Modern, May 2010. Photo courtesy Kevin Sykes.)

(Above: Amongst the crowds at 'No Soul For Sale' Tate Modern, May 2010. Photo courtesy Kevin Sykes)

(Above: At the private view for 'Performance Metrics' curated by Elisa Kay and Shama Khanna, Goldsmiths College, London, Feb 2010. Photo courtesy Sophie Hope)

(Above right: At the private view for 'Performance Metrics' answering more questions whilst keeping 'in character.' Photo courtesy Sophie Hope)

(Above: Modified cyce helmet with home-made PCSO decals)

I retired the project in 2010, as after exposure at Tate Modern it may have become over familiar and lose some uncertainty, Also around that time the PCSO uniforms were revised to be more complex, closer to full Police uniforms, presumably to give them more authority , therefore harder to copy and less of a halfway point between citizen and the Law.

Copyright Barry Sykes 2018. All Rights Reserved

 

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