Things to do in Paradise
Installation, photographs, video 2000-01
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The work is based on a series of photographs and a video shot inside and outside Top Shop, the fashion store in Oxford Street, London.

The photographs, snatched in seconds inside the store, were then enlarged to life size. On this grand scale, the banal, unfocussed shots of shoppers riding escalators become images of transcendence, their progress upwards suggesting an ascent into heaven.

The video was shot using a hidden camera from the pavement outside one of the entrances to the store. Shoppers hurry in and out. Beyond them the huge in-house video screen can be seen, its images of pop videos flickering in a wash of background colour, the music forming an indistinct, haunting soundtrack for the piece.

In the Saturday crush of Top Shop the work finds some fleeting moments of satisfied desire, an imperfect glimpse of heaven on earth.

Video: Roger Karshan
Exhibition venue: courtesy London Borough of Camden
Installation photography: Janine Rook
Dedicated to the memory of Paul Collett 1961-2005

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