Go to The Shelter

Documentary video
Go to The Shelter is a documentary video of a performance based on an exploration of the Tate Archive.

Medium: Canvas, Pillows and Video 
Size: 1500mm x 2000mm

YouTube Link:https://youtu.be/g6rpT9VC7yo

Go to The Shelter

Anti-War/ Archive(R)/ Documentary Video/ London/ Shelter/ Tate Archive/ Underground/ World Landscape/ WWII

Act 01

Go to The Shelter is an ongoing project, starting with a photograph taken by Ewan Phillips, which was collected by the Tate Archive. The photograph depicts thousands of church bells that had been seized to be melted down for raw materials by the Nazis during the Second World War.

Odd behaviour nowadays but sensible at a time of war. Several ‘Tube Shelter’ paintings from Henry Moore let me find more archive photos of people escaping air raids and going into underground shelters during WWII. But the shelter atmosphere was very different from the tragic outside. People tried to live their joyful life in the tubes as they did before the war, trying to forget the pain and suffering of the war and fight it with passion. This inspirational mood may have been necessary for wartime to cheer people up. But this sort of bright picture is only exceptional at a particular time. Taken out of this context, more important than proclaiming the active spirit of resistance in war is to reflect on the unconscionable reasons that caused people to be forced to live in airtight ‘tubes’ - the unease and destruction of war.

Therefore I decided to take my package to the underground tunnel station on the Elizabeth Line for a journey to escape one war that had not yet happened. As people grow to feel that the war is getting away from them, it stimulates them to remember not to ignore the possibility of the war occurring. If they don’t want to turn the newly built Elizabeth Line into a future place to live, it is essential to be aware of the fact that the war never actually left.

- Archives Resources 

Act 02

Exhibited at Tate Archive.

Show on

Royal College of Art 2023 WIP Show with TATE Archive


2022 by Zhicheng Yi