A church in the north of England has become the exhibition spot for a provocative work of art named 'The Electric Fence', which aims to highlight institutions of discrimination (particularly against LGBTQ+ people), and make viewers think about the boundaries placed on those who have been on the receiving end of hate crimes.
The installation, which is a part of Hull's City of Culture Freedom Season itinerary, is made up of four large metal posts, connected by wires to give the feeling of a barriers, or being trapped. The wires appear to be "live", and react to the audience's presence.
Audience members then have the opportunity to anonymously share their own experiences and personal reflections (both positive and negative), some of which are shared on social media and the installation's website.
The artist behind the installation, Annabel McCourt, says that the piece was created as a response to a particular attack on same-sex marriage.
“The Electric Fence was born out of a direct and personal response to a highly publicised American Pastor’s sermon in which he advocated a ‘solution’ to same sex marriage," McCourt told local Hull media Hey Today.
McCourt is speaking about the highly-publicised 2012 comments from US pastor Rev. Charles L. Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church.
In response to President Barack Obama's public endorsement of same-sex marriage, Worley said, “I figured a way out, a way to get rid of all the lesbians and queers but I couldn’t get it pass the Congress — build a great big large fence, 50 or a hundred mile long.
"Put all the lesbians in there, fly over and drop some food. Do the same thing with the queers and the homosexuals. And have that fence electrified so they can’t get out, feed 'em. And you know what, in a few years, they'll die out. Do you know why? They can't reproduce."
McCourt said that the modern state of discrimination against LGBTQ+ people is the stuff of nightmares.
“I couldn’t have foretold the current climate in my wildest nightmares. Soundbites of ‘learning lessons’ resonate in a hollow mantra in which we haven’t evolved.
“First, Trump rises to power promising a wall, then, reports of gay men being interned and tortured in concentration camps in Chechnya, evoking the indescribable horrors of Auschwitz.”
“Now, a ‘coalition of chaos’ fuelling fear and throwing into question new-found and cherished LGBT freedoms. Borders, boundaries, terror, fake news… we are trapped in a loop of hatred where the human condition and an architecture of fear are working in perfect harmony.”
The installation can be viewed at Hull Minster at Trinity Square in the United Kingdom, or visit 'The Electric Fence' online.