Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Jill Magid from "Evidence Locker" Part of the permanent collection, Whitney Museum of American Art


  1. Evidence Locker
    Multimedia Installation including DVD's edited from Police CCTV footage, Sound piece, novella, website.

    The following webpage is documentation. At you can download One Cycle of Memory in the City of L to get daily letters and CCTV video files from Magid's Evidence Locker.

    In 2004, Jill spent 31 days in Liverpool, during which time she developed a close relationship with Citywatch (Merseyside Police and Liverpool City Council), whose function is citywide video surveillance- the largest system of its kind in England.
    The videos in her Evidence Locker were staged and edited by the artist and filmed by the police using the public surveillance cameras in the city centre. Wearing a bright red trench coat she would call the police on duty with details of where she was and ask them to film her in particular poses, places or even guide her through the city with her eyes closed, as seen in the video Trust.
    Unless requested as evidence, CCTV footage obtained from the system is stored for 31 days before being erased. For access to this footage, Magid had to submit 31 Subject Access Request Forms - the legal document necessary to outline to the police details of how and when an 'incident' occurred. Magid chose to complete these forms as though they were letters to a lover, expressing how she was feeling and what she was thinking. These letters form the diary One Cycle of Memory in the City of L- an intimate portrait of the relationship between herself, the police and the city.


  3. Evidence Locker - Prologue (Shoot That Tiger Rec'd Feb 8, 2012
    Dear Observer,
    Make me a diary and keep it safe. Take care it is mine.
    Hold this photograph of my face. Keep all our entries in order.
    Put the letters in your desk file and the images in your evidence locker.
    You can edit everyone else out.

    I will fill in the gaps, the parts of my diary you are missing.
    Since you can’t follow me inside, I will record the inside for you.
    I will mark the time carefully so you will never lose me.

    Don’t worry about finding me. I will help you. I will tell you
    what I was wearing, where I was, the time of day... If there was anything
    distinguishing about my look that day, I will make sure you know.

    Hold onto my diary for at least seven years.

    I am enclosing a cheque. Use it for whatever expenses you have.



  4. First letter rec'd by Shoot That Tiger, Feb 8, 2012.
    Thursday, January 29, 2004

    Day 1

    Dear Observer,

    I arrived at John Lennon airport at 5:51pm. (6:51pm Amsterdam time), five
    hours later than scheduled. Easy Jet.

    Raj picked me up at the airport. I recognized her before she recognized me.
    S told me she was Asian, I assumed Chinese, but she is Indian. We got a taxi.
    They are big here, more like rooms than cars.

    My bag fit. I had been worried. Raj told me it was the biggest bag she had
    ever seen. It’s just shaped that way, I said. I was embarrassed at how big the
    bag was. B told me he was going to shoot me if I did not stop talking about
    the bag.

    I was wearing black jeans with gray cuffs, booties, and my blue hooded coat.
    Underneath- the part you could not see- I wore a long-sleeve t-shirt and a
    checkered cardigan. Its looks like a cheerleader’s from the 50’s.

    At 6:40 we drove through the city center onto Rodney Street. I will live at the
    end, near the Cathedral. I did not see you, but was not looking for you yet.
    It’s a Georgian style house. I have the room at the top of the stairs. Patrick,
    the uptight man who lives here with invisible Frans or Hans, said, There is
    a boy upstairs from me named Tim that, don’t worry, you will never see. I can’t
    figure where this room is; there is a skylight outside my door.

    At 7:25 Raj and I left the house. I was wearing the red coat I told you about
    and a blue vest underneath. We stood on the doorstep, figuring the keys. I
    have key anxiety and can never open foreign doors.

    We walked up Duke Street to Slater to Bold. I remember Bold Street from
    before. I was tired, I still am tired, and wasn’t concerned with you. This cold
    is blocking my body, my taste, my vision. I can’t feel what I feel like. You
    would not have known this by watching me. Or hearing me- which you can’t

    Raj said I seemed excited. I am excited. I don’t miss anything I have left, not
    yet. I am scared for tomorrow, but tonight I am content.

    There were not many people on the streets. I can’t recall anyone in particular.
    I wasn’t concentrating. I was feeling the air and surprised I was not colder.
    I went to the supermarket in Central Station and got meatless soup in a can,
    yogurt, and bread and jam for morning. You would notice if you could see
    inside, I buy the same things every time.

    We went to Tabac on Bold Street and were inside for an hour. She got a beer
    and I got a brandy. I usually don’t drink brandy. In Amsterdam I get an
    espresso and cognac or an espresso and grappa. But people in The City of L.
    like brandy. Raj doesn’t; she is from Birmingham.

    It feels later than it is. I made my room my own. I hung my clothes on the
    hangers. I put my underwear in the drawers and my laptop on the desk. I took
    the Jesus off the wall and moved it to the closet. I remember doing that in
    France and then remembered I did not do that, it was my sister who did that.
    She told me the story when I was younger and I thought it was my story, but
    it’s hers.
    There is also another cross on the mantle, next to the vases and matching
    candlesticks, but I like that one. Jesus hangs in a wooden arch; he swings when
    you move him.

    It’s 11:06. I am not going to go out again. And I am not going to use the
    phone. I don’t feel like telling anyone I arrived safely. I feel like being in the
    room, writing you, and then reading my book. I bought it at the airport, when
    my plane was delayed. It makes me laugh and reminds me of being a kid in

    No Trace

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