The Commons
Project info

David Moore finds himself at the heart of the British politics making photographs in the empty chamber of the House of Commons creating a contemporary document of the physical centre of the British political system.

This is a survey about unseen and overlooked areas, Moore has photographed the minutiae of the chamber,
chewing gum under tables and scratches on desks.

The project allows him to continue a re-current theme around the scrutiny of power and ways in which an environment can act as metaphor for the relationships that are negotiated within it. This continues a pre-occupation with power, and continues themes picked up by Moore’s project The Velvet Arena [1995 Velvet
press]
Colonial investigation of the nineteenth century and that within London, such as the forays into the East End by
Gustave Dore and Henry Mayhew have also been influential.
Benjamin Stone, a C19th Conservative mp and landowner from Birmingham continually made photographs in
Westminster. His obsessive documentation of the people and interiors around late C19th Westminster form a
foundation from which to re-interpret this environment. Birmingham Central Library in the UK holds the Benjamin Stone
Archive.
Amongst other aims, the project seeks to question the traditional roles of the documentary photograph and
examine the power balance between the producer and the observed, between cause and symptom.
*
Walter Benjamin once said of Eugene Atgets photographs;
'He photographed deserted Paris streets like scenes of crime. The scene of a crime, too, is deserted; it is
photographed for the purpose of establishing evidence…..photographs become standard evidence for historical
occurrences, and acquire a hidden political significance '

We may transfer this observation to Moore’s intentions with his photographs of The Commons.

The Commons was first exhibited in January 2004 at Percy Miller Gallery, London.