'Ruinous Recollections' > Research
The main focus of my interest is the memorial to Alan Turing placed in
I recently passed the statue and was interested to note the intervention/vandalism that had occurred on the Turing memorial. The above image shows that some park visitors had placed a Manchester United hat on the head of the memorial, and stuffed a Manchester Evening News under its arm. There were also condoms placed at various points on the monument, they had been blown up and filled with a white fluid; unlikely it seems to be the fluid they were designed to contain. The next day the statue was back to its old self; so no permanent ‘damage’. It seems unlikely that the people responsible were intending to make a comment with the assemblage though it is interesting to note the perhaps unwitting significance of their choice of object. It could be said that the use of
I have also chosen to focus on the symbolism of the apple and the ambiguity surrounding Turing’s death widely believed to be with a cyanide laced apple. This dramatic story seems to have over shadowed the man so I wanted to explore a way of reinvigorating the monument by perhaps focusing on the apple and its apparent ability to dominate the story of Alan Turing. I have attempted to explore and subvert the apples contribution to Alan Turings biography and hope to use it to promote further interest in this significant Manchester Figure. My research continues….
‘please take one’ is a collage illustrating a proposed intervention that will completely cover the Alan Turing memorial with apples. The apples placed over the statue will create a temporary intervention, the apples used will then be given away to passers by, as they walk on they will carry these symbols of Turing throughout the locality walking the streets that Turing once did. When the apples are removed the memorial will be re-seen reviving the statue, throughout the process discussion will surround the location of the memorial. (Sackville Gardens was selected due to its position in-between The Gay Village and UMIST (as was) which continue to be locations still connected with those most associated by Turings legacy). The apple, initially seeming to mask the story of the man, conceals then reveals the memorial.
‘Poisoned Apples’ the two bowls of apples present a possible solution to the reading of the installation placed in the gardens. I intend to create some form of accompaniment to the apples being given out. My initial feeling was that I would enjoy handing out apples to passers-by to eat whilst they hear or read about Turing and his suicide with a poisoned apple. Though I struggled with an efficient way of attaching this symbolism or meaning to the apple which would not visually detract from the installation, I settled on the skull and cross bone ‘sticker’ as a symbol of poison or toxicity, it is an instantly recognisable marker that without words communicates fatal danger. This simple augmentation then transforms the apple from humble fruit to possible danger and sums up the story of Turing’s suicide I especially enjoy the juxtaposition of these two recognisable motifs and note there appropriateness and resonances with the ‘Forbidden Fruit’ and ‘Snow White’ mythologies. My research continues…