Helen Sear

The Whole Story

The Whole Story is the result of a year-long commission undertaken by Helen Sear for PhotoWorks. Her residencies at both a museum and a library focused on the way that public collections are utilised in the fictionalising of life and history.

Using filmic narrative, Sear interweaves portraits of people and objects (once personal, but now considered public property) in a narrative dialogue that is concerned with ideas of time, presence, classification and ownership.

The very private act of reading silently to oneself was turned on its head when Sear asked library users to read aloud to camera from their recently borrowed library books. At this point, a personal act becomes a public one.

In The Whole Story the duality of observing and being observed, of being both the subject and the object is tightly explored through both photography and video.

Helen Sear is an artist based in London; she has exhibited in the UK and Europe, and is a Visiting Lecturer at the London Institute.

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