Looking at the images in Other Histories, one might naively assume that our decision to recruit Christopher King as artist in residence was an odd one. After all, the Tower of London has been a tourist site for so long that there is little room in the public's imagination for anything but the myths and legends of the Tower. In fact, so potent are these images that most candidates for the position couldn't see beyond them and offered us only more of the same. Not so with Chris, he was bold enough to say he didn't know what he would give us because he was process-driven and his final work would depend on how he responded during repeated exposure to the site. We were intrigued and impressed enough to say yes, so long as he would record his process on a blog for all to see. Chris dutifully obeyed and at thelightofmanydays.wordpress.com is both a dutiful and insightful record of his hopes and fears, struggles and triumphs, influences and obsessions.
Chris will freely admit that during his time at the Tower he was, in many ways, just another tourist but that his gaze was extended quite significantly. Indeed, his main body of work was created over almost a year and as a result he was able to look beyond the immediate and obvious and to return to those spaces that intrigued him. These spaces were often quieter, off the visitor route, or deemed unimportant for your usual day tripper to be concerned with. The resulting body of work, appropriately titled 'Other Histories', explores what Chris calls the "burden of interpretation" that exists at the Tower, where a hierarchy of history has been created over the centuries in order to satisfy the changing nature and demands of the tourist gaze. Of course, over time such activity changes our relationship to history itself and has contributed to the creation of the myths and legends of the Tower, but Chris is not critical of this and to say that uncovering this burden was his intent would be incorrect., it was merely part of the process he went through to give us something more, because ultimately, Other Histories is concerned with the beauty of the photograph.