Clandestine Drill

09.1a ‘the conundrum of the intelligence installation’

A small concrete building with mast and aerials is situated on a remote rock in the estuary. It has been assumed that the structure fulfills some role in covert operations, although beyond this, no member of the general population is clear about the building’s current use. Concrete protrusions extend from where the roof meets the wall. An architectural reason for these details is hard to find. But it cannot go unnoticed that even from a short distance these ambiguous additions look like ears protruding from the sides of a head. The impression is consolidated further by the location of two windows and a door, which fall into accord producing an uncanny expression of shock on the anthropomorphic face. Could this impression have been intended? Could it be that the hut is empty, that its dark, damp interior and impractical dimensions serve some other programme?

The building looks out towards the horizon.


Neil Chapman
The Clandestine Drill
London: Scenesadventures, 2003,
ISBN 0-9544901-0-X.
(Published to coincide with the exhibition, Four Plus: Writing DNA, TwoTen Gallery, London.)



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