Working almost exclusively in monochrome, Mark Dean’s subject matter is often based on the recycling of old archive film, extracts of which are presented in repetitive video loops, whose images, strong on perspective, either converge upon or diverge from a vanishing (or materialising) point. In one of his recent works, The End (Mad Max + 90 x 4) (1999), a never-ending highway looms, endlessly, towards the viewer, the seemingly infinite, flat horizon never getting closer – those last few moments at the end of the film before the fade then the credits. The catch is that Dean has rotated the whole caboodle, through 90 degrees, four times (hence the title), with the centre slightly out of register, so we witness four distinct lines of white road markings, fruitlessly luring the horizon in, leaving a void in the centre of the screen, into which our eyes are irresistibly drawn, as if hurtling into an endless tunnel. In a recent installation, Ascension (Nothing/ Something Good) (2000), Dean creates a similar visual phenomenon with words, which process, radially, like a starburst out of a point in the centre of the screen, the word ‘nothing’ negating its presence over and over again like a repetitive mantra.
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