On 15 February 1894 a French anarchist named Martial Bourdin was killed when the bomb he was carrying detonated. The explosion took place on the slope beneath the Royal Observatory in London’s Greenwich Park and it was generally assumed that his intention had been to blow up this building — the place from which the world’s time was (and continues to be) measured.
In Greenwich Degree Zero (2005-6), Dickinson and McCarthy re-imagine Bourdin’s attempt as a success. By reworking newspaper reports from the time and manipulating film and photography to fit their version of events, they invite audiences to piece history together by scrutinising an archive of media and objects in an examination room dedicated to the blast. Greenwich Degree Zero is the result of an ongoing collaboration between Rod Dickinson and Tom McCarthy, where re-enactment aids their investigations into mediation and repetition, control and reality.
Exhibition continues until 6 January 2013.
First posted: Thursday, November 15th, 2012.