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About the Work

One day In 1956, when I was a child, my father said to me something to the effect that if the Russians threatened us with rockets, we should say, 'Go ahead and see what you get in return'. He was a man of mild character but extremely belligerent with regard to the Soviets. His remarks were occasioned by the death knell of British imperial power - the unsuccessful attempt to seize back the Suez Canal from the Egypt of Nasser. I dwelt on his words and was thus very alarmed at the time of Cuba a few years later when he reiterated the same sentiment.
The subtitle of this piece is 'the England/Scotland Football Match'. I took the photographs at Wembley Stadium, London, in 1981. Once every two years the fans would descend on the metropolis, drinking a lot of beer before this ritual game, and once inside the arena, unable to reach the lavatories, urinate into their pants (or kilts, as the case may be). Afterwards, depending on their mood, they might continue drinking amiably or smash whatever they happen to find on their way.
I wanted to depict escapism-organised distractions, institutionalised civilian violence, control and chaos, nuclear bunkers. For this work, I photographed the football fans being channelled in and out of the stadium along an elevated walkway.

(This piece forms the left panel of the Triptych on Nuclear War)

″I still use the same approach to my work: I get an idea, think of the title and then make the work. So not much has changed since 1964″

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