“OUT OF LINE” 1988


POPULAR PRESS As always, a significant personal event provided the catalyst for the 'Out of Line' piece. In this case it was a serious road accident earlier this year which put Garrard in the fractures ward of St Bartholomew's Hospital. She began recording the roles and behaviour of male and female patients, while her frequent visits for outpatient treatment brought her into contact with the adjoining meat market. 'Originally I saw strange analogies between the porters in the meatmarket carrying around lumps of death to give life, and the nurses in the hospital who try to cope with hunks of meat and bring them back to life.' The result was a complex work which extends from the cast from Garrard's arm to videos of television news footage of disasters. 'We're all so surprised when we have an accident, yet by recording ten days of news broadcasts you realise how we've created a world that relentlessly creates accidents.'

The shifting relationship between the sexes in Bart's was of special interest to her. Taped conversations with staff and patients provide the muttered cacophony in the Slaughterhouse that becomes clearly audible once the telephones receivers are picked up. The macho Irish builder, crippled by a falling load of bricks; the elderly man embarrassed by female nakedness in a mixed ward; the male nurse; the lonely old woman; all are treated with affection. Garrard prefers to analyse rather than moralise, but she does laugh at the recent memory of a male Polish artist, who, on visiting the Slaughterhouse and watching her installing the work, declared; 'Oh, so you're being a nurse!'.

'It immediately brought it all back,' she groans, 'the way that just being a woman and occupying women's roles is actually seen by other as a diminishment. First of all', she continues, 'the battle is to see yourself not as a diminishment and then to attempt actions that determine that in other people's eyes.'
Louisa Buck, The Guardian, November 3 1988

POPULAR PRESS Visitors can pick up a telephone and listen to the former owners of the plaster casts reminiscing about their ailments. According to the festival organisers, the exhibition 'explores the relationships between mind and body, inner and outer, male and female, during the process of physical healing'. But Mr David Hyams, leader of the council's Social Democratic opposition, said: 'It's the daftest arts display since the pile of bricks at the Tate. They're taking the mickey at the ratepayers' expense'.
Evening Standard, September 15 1988

'Edge 88' Biennale of Experiamental Art
Slaughterhouse Smithfield, London
'New Work Newcastle' Charlotte Square Newcastle upon Tyne

Ten tape recorders (sponsored by Rumbelows). Fifty telephones (sponsored by British Telecom) placed on a 32ft table. Casting/operating table and light. Emergency blue flashing light, selected hospital limb and torso casts. Recorded conversations with patients and staff at St Bartholomew's Hospital. Video monitor showing accidents reported on TV news. Quantity of men's and women's folded white clothing, plaster of paris, white mixing buckets and a white ladder. Artist as performer for five days in white clothing

Edge 88 Biennale of Experimental Art