Ben Holmes

Behind the Shops (2005)

3 min 56 secSingle channel / Digital Video / Colour / Sound

The video begins with ominous, discordant electronic tones, and a series of images of objects shot on a low resolution video in extreme close-up. The video continues in full frame, showing abandoned appliances, garbage, green waste, and other urban detritus. On the voice over, a deep, murky voice observes that the back of the shops look so much different to the front of shops. They describe their subsequent realisation that this might be the impetus for a game for themself and the audience - “If you go behind the shops you might find a package… inside the package you will find a prize”. The video zooms to small objects within the frame, as if to suggest close attention is necessary to discover these prizes.

Part of a series of instructional videos made between 2005-2010 that were sent out with different accessories as part of a mail-based participation game. Their premise was to show participants how to perform different tasks and how to take part in a covert communication system through the use of various collusive actions, markings and signals. Initially they also incorporated a points and prizes system.

Other works in this series

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