NML: What happened that day, and why did you decide to shoot this series? What were you trying to capture?
MDR: That day I was in Eastbourne, southern England. I was having a picnic with some friends when the police came and asked us if we saw someone jumping off the cliff. We didn’t and no one else we were sitting with had seen anything. Then suddenly there was a sort of excitement and curiosity for being in real time and real space as spectators of something dramatic, something that interrupted our sunny day. I turned my camera towards people around me, making people into photographed spectators but also players at the same time. There were a few minutes of moderate animation, phone calls, some murmuring. Nothing else after that. Everyone went back to their picnic. A reality show without the TV frame. There was the same amount of interest, the same speed of forgetting an event that perhaps never happened.
NML: You do a lot of work around the intersection of military spaces with civilian spaces. Are there overlapping concerns in this work? Between spaces that are used differently at the same time?
MDR: Yes, in a way the spaces I am interested in are overlapping, although the space I am showing here is open to all and so free. There is no military or political control or restriction; the only possible appropriation is invisible and works on a personal level. The use and perception of it is different, of course, although we were sharing it at the same time.
NML: Why are the interior shots important to you? What do they convey that the spectators in the sunshine do not?
MDR: The cliffs of Eastbourne are renown as a destination for suicide attempts. Usually those who decide to kill themselves choose a sunny day, go to the bar, take the last coffee and then jump.
The interior shots are taken in one of those bars used to collect the last moments, the last tosses, before the beauty and death of the place will coexist at the same time.