‘You don’t know what nights are like?’ – public art project

Tabrizian, M. 2016. ‘You don’t know what nights are like?’ – public art project.

CreatorsTabrizian, M.

This is a major billboard project commissioned by the ‘Art on the Underground’ (initially as a response to the launch of the night trains), entitled ‘You don’t know what nights are like?’. It focuses on ‘night - time workers’, with a number of interviews made with those who work between 8 to 12 hour night shifts , including Laura, the figure in the first image here, who has been working as a security guard,12 hour night shift for the last 16 years (pls see interviews)

Using ‘fragments’ of their stories, the text attempts to depict the interior emotional states of the individuals, their resilience, and the sense of being on the ‘other side’.
The images take a more abstract approach to the portrayal of the people who live on the margin and remain invisible.

Set early in the morning, the gloaming sky is an allegory of transition, of crossing over. The boundary of rural and urban, of day and night, create a landscape of opposites. This landscape encapsulates our ‘lone figure’, walking, perhaps from work, and raises unsettling questions. What of her thoughts in making this unremarkable daily journey?

In a dawning light, an ‘isolated building’, stands alone, as if in the middle of nowhere, yet with a bus stop in front. The building is at first glance seems abandoned, and yet traces of life within are picked up with yellow light glowing from a scattering of windows. There is an urge to wonder; who lives there? Anyone, everyone. It is anonymous and yet personal. The building acts as a character, it personifies the scene. It stands strong against the expanse of sky. It resists.

These images stand in for a wider community of night-time workers living as if on the edge of the city. The billboards being displayed at huge scale in the city centre, is an attempt to bring the margin to the centre, - to indicate the significance of the people whose work is essential to the city’s existence, without which the city would not survive!

Date01 Jan 2016
Filemitra tabrizian ‘you don’t know what nights are like? 2016 .jpeg
mitra tabrizian - ‘you don’t know what nights are like?' 2016 .jpeg
Mitra Tabrizian press release final.pdf
interviews - art on the underground.pdf
Southwark U Station - Mitra Tabrizian-8 LR.jpg
Southwark U Station - Mitra Tabrizian-9 LR.jpg
Southwark U Station - Mitra Tabrizian-5 copy.jpg
_ZN12221 copy.jpg
Media typeImage

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Tabrizian, M. 2008. This is that place. London Tate Publishing.

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Tabrizian, M. 2004. Beyond the limits: silent majority.

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