Outside of Society

A commission by Sam Ashby for 'We Are Here: Open Studio Exhibition' at The White Building, Hackney Wick on the 17-18 August 2013.
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"They grew up on the outside of society. They weren’t looking for a fight. They were looking to belong."
Presenting patient case studies from a 1964 aversion therapy trial by psychologists M. P. Feldman and M. J. MacCulloch titled "The Application of Anticipatory Avoidance Learning to the Treatment of Homosexuality", this installation loops slides and audio, creating a continually altering combination of sound and image. 
The structure is a replica of the one in which the male patients observed slides of men and women and were given electric shocks in conjunction with the former in order to "cure" them. Here the images are taken from Hollywood films about street gangs, placing the archival research within a shifting narrative and positioning the subjects as heroic outsiders.
The commission involved the design and construction of a timber 'viewing box' that could be easily dismantled and transported to the gallery and other potential exhibitions, together with two timber benches.
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Listed in Critics Top Ten List 2013 by Erika Balsam for ARTFORUM December 2013
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Slide projection, audio recording, viewing box (birch plywood, pine and acyclic) and benches (OSB)
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Photography by Will Yates-Johnson