Louise Janvier


The Legal City Tour











The film documents a legal city tour which explores the relationship between law and art. I have focused specifically on the controls with regard to film making and photography. The work illustrates the tension existing within the legality of the image. The tours make visible the stringent controls forbidding the use of filming, photography, drawings, note taking and audio devices in UK courtrooms.

The objective of the tours was to draw attention to where the exact legal perimeters lie for artists working in urban environments. I am interested in the cinematic chain of the text. I wanted to reveal the exterior sensory materiality of the city and investigate the origins of English traditions, law is an agent in social evolution. I chose the site of Preston because historically the place had established a precedent for testing out the law in terms of civil rights. Karl Marx, Charles Dickens and Daniel Defoe have also commented about this particular area of Preston. I negotiated the city through a legal maze, in collaboration with Preston law courts and assistance from the Lancashire Record Office.