VERMIN: a pest control training centre
8.30pm, Friday 5 October
A live art event by Adela Jones
Cow Lane Studios, Cow Lane, Salford
The evening began as trainees were met by PREVENTION. He proceeded to tie the bottoms of their trouser legs with bailing twine (to keep out rodents). He then sent them outside with grabbers wearing protective gloves, to clear away matter which could attract Vermin; the pavement was covered in bread, half eaten chips and nuts. At 7pm trainees were called back inside and sent through a cleansing room where they were made to scrub their hands carefully under observation. This was followed by a short headlice examination on a spot lit stool infront of all the other trainees. The later people arrived the more people they had viewing their examination.
Hand written accounts of pest encounters formed the basis of the training introduction talk by CONTROL before the trainees were led in groups of six at a time into a giant mouse tunnel. The tunnel led to Unit 2. Inside Unit 2 trainees were instructed to clean a giant black rat sat in a bathing pool of tepid water. Attached to the matted fur coat of the rat were what looked like giant pink grubs (a set of fermenting prawns with a lingereing smell). After this they were directed through another tunnel to Unit 3 a workshop area where PREVENTION and ERRADICATION presented trainees with cheese, wire and a spoken instruction poem on how to make a trap. This space was quite dark. Led by CONTROL trainees had to leave the unit and plant their traps.
Cheese and wine were served in the time waiting for everyone to pass through the training experience . The pest encounter accounts were pegged up to be shared by all the trainees. The evening concluded with a presentation to all those who attended. This involved trainees shaking hands and being congratulated by the full training squad and the giant rat presenting certificates and white chocolate mice to each trainee.
Will Pollard, Adela Jones,Charlotte Tupper, Sally Grimwood
Photographs by Andrew Brooks 2007