The Watchfulness of Justice

November, 2012
The Watchfulness of Justice

The ghosts of Justitia manifest within the former Judge's Room, but who are they watching?

This interactive projection was commissioned by OVADA for the Spotlight event at Oxford Town Hall as part of the city's Light Night. Within the former Judge's Room, the work echoed not only the room's history, but also paid homage to the earliest creative uses of projection in the phantasmagoria shows of the 18th-19th century. The ghostly, emotive apparitions of these shows, which did not seek to hide the truth of their production, embodied both the Romantic and rationalist aspects of their age – an age that also led to the Gothic revival architecture of the Town Hall.

A continuous video of smoke was projection mapped onto the ornate stone chimney breast, appearing as if the stone was becoming translucent. As people walked into the room, faces appeared in the smoke, turning and watching people as they moved.

Some photographs © Hannah Wilmshurst