The East Tower of the former BBC Television Centre in Shepherd’s Bush in London was demolished in the summer of 2017. A springboard for the careers of generations of British household names since it opened in the 1960s, the former BBC Television Centre was a catalyst for creativity: from writers, producers and designers, to filmmakers, performers and musicians. To celebrate the BBC’ heritage, Klenz was commissioned to take over one of the empty floors of its East Tower and respond to its rich cultural history of producing television and radio outputs.
Her video installation The False Mirror is based on a Helios-esque installation of mirror-shard fragments circled by the camera located on the 9th floor of the tower, creating a kaleidoscopic effect where reflections and refractions were filmed and everything within the mirrors’ view reflected back to the camera including fragments of the specific venue of the East Tower as well as the city beyond. The camera rotating around the immersive mirror installation also captured the camera, lights and the video crew, exposing these normally hidden elements and making them a symbiotic part of the video piece. The False Mirror merges the two sides of the seen and unseen into one space and ‘allows’ the building to refer back to its own history as a site of media production and broadcasting.
The video piece uses various filmed sequences and assembles them together in a process that operates on a threshold between collage and photography. ‘Architectural photo collage’ might be a fitting term to describe this process of splicing, joining, cutting through, inverting and reverting, framing and slicing, creating hybrid spatial formations that dissociate the viewer from the familiar.
This idea is also reflected in the soundscape of the piece: ambient noise recorded at the time the video was made, theme tunes of CBBC productions made in the BBC East Tower such as Prank Patrol, The Secret Show or Roy as well as sound translated into noise create a disjointed harmony of sound.
The False Mirror’s interlacing of environment, portraits and sound enables the viewer to simultaneously be before, within and even behind the interior space that they are viewing, positioning one in a strange intermediary zone of space, eye and camera - a world in which the viewer is able to see inside one’s own looking.