…to a load of retro art wank

“In the dark a slow, solitary figure moves on the screen. Turning towards the spectator it walks forward until it blocks out the light. Suddenly powerful halogen lights illuminate the space; the figure disappears and returns imperceptibly in the distance. It starts its slow, mysterious dance again.”

This is Sublimer, an installation at London gallery Camerawork by Max Fenton and Justin Owen, the man who created special effects for Tom Cruise’s recent blockbuster Mission Impossible.

Is it sublime or does it verge on the ridiculous? Why is this figure solitary and slow? Why is it walking around aimlessly? Is its dance slow and mysterious or nihilistic and silly? Why the dark suit?

Perhaps Fenton had a heavy Ultravox phase in the late Seventies. Perhaps he thinks nobody remembers the track Vienna. The line “A man in the dark in a picture frame, so mystic and soulful”. The white spaces and dark suits of that era, when Visage’s Midge Ure reigned supreme.

Ultravox and Ure just about got away with it. But – unlike Abba and every other Seventies craze – this theme just doesn’t bear a rehash. Sublimer runs until 21 September.

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