The Chamber


The Chamber is a two roomed installation which is part of the larger Museum of Optography where the two rooms are built within a space as a singular structure. It also works a stand-alone piece independent from the MoO.

Put simply The Chamber is a sort of film-set, in that what is before us feels like it is functional and real but with a sense that we are voyeurs to a staged spectacle. The Chamber operates as a cross between a physiology laboratory, a camera obscura and a darkroom. An environment designed for a particular purpose, an optographic experiment. However, something has happened here, unknown, something we imagine as a sudden abandonment of purpose, it is said to have been an experiment to find the last image but at the last moment a dramatic halting event occurred and The Chamber was then sealed.

One hundred and twenty years or so have passed, a microscope and bunsen burner, lab glassware, many experiments in progress, mainly failures, a trauma has occurred, evidence of frantic activity litters the space in disarray. A thin layer of dust and dirt covers everything we see, we peer in from an exposed side of the structure, slightly raised walkways allow us to move in closer for our inspection to witness mind’s labour of both scientist and artist. The act of creation and destruction. The last moments of the last moment, chamber within chamber, mind within mind…

Chamber MK1

Derek Ogbourne