‘Bootlegging Black Maria’ is a conceptual artwork, in which a scale reconstruction of Edison’s ‘Black Maria’ was installed inside dubbing suite 5 of ‘De Lane Lea’ - the recently retired Warner Brothers post production facility. The installation unpacks the unique history of a structure, a location and a collision between the two.

‘Black Maria’ was the name of Thomas Edison’s personal film studio. Custom built in 1893, before the invention of artificial light, the makeshift structure featured a retractable roof in order to channel the only powerful light source available: sunlight. Constructed on a circular base plate, the whole building could swivel 360 degrees, following the sun as it moves across the sky.

The process behind the work formed part of its gesture, employing the bootleg as a valid mode of cultural production.

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As an installation, the work stages visitors in an encounter with the reconstruction. The show is only available to view individually - in timed appointments. Visitors are led through the labyrinthe corridoors of De Lane Lea before being left inside the dubbing studio; a void of sound and light with the bootleg nested inside.

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‘Bootlegging Black Maria’