Sunday, March 8, 2009

Stairway to the Street

This is the one of the Jervis Shopping Centre escalators - the one going down to Abbey Street in inner north Dublin. I suppose an escalator is a kind of a stairway, so going up the escalator is symbolically associated with knowledge and down is to knowledge of the occult and the unconscious. In this case, the escalator is taking us in or out of a shopping centre so it has a more profane meaning. Shopping centres are concentrations - whole swirling vortices - of people and commodities. Here you can see commodities do what commodities do best - they appear on display. The commodity doesn't ask for much more than to be in a shop window or a shelf. We move through the glittering department store and look at the many objects on display. But who produces them, who profits from them? Who will buy them and how will they be used? You can't tell from looking at them. Most of all, we seldom think of them being produced by people. Somehow all that is lost in a world of appearance and real human relationships are hidden under shiny surfaces.