The City of Dreadful Night
- The City of Dreadful Night - Press release
- Passagen – Stephen Johnstone and Graham Ellard
- The City of Dreadful Mornings or 6th September 1993 – Jean-Paul Martinon
18 November – 22 December 1994
Rear Window, Atlantis Lower Gallery, 146 Brick Lane, London E1
Things appear at a distance, reveal themselves slowly. Sounds are intensified, walled in. In a dimly lit basement we are guided by signs, repeated instructions, invited to walk channelled through systems. Five works emerge to allow the viewer to stroll, stray, and get lost.
The self-aware melancholic flâneur, strolling aimlessly in the arcades or boulevards of the nineteenth century has become a self-obsessed anxious commuter, a transmogrified window shopper. The flâneur, transfiguring the ordinary into the extraordinary has disappeared. The commuter transits from A to B without correlating objects or information.
The city with its named streets, roads and alleyways, car parks, platforms, and basements, with its maps, diagrams, vistas, and panoramas is a vibrant labyrinth where straying is no longer possible. Every section of the city is valued, categorized, surveyed. Helicopter searchlights, security videos, revolving doors, automatic gates… Everything reflects back desires and necessities as it channels the stroller to his or her destination.
How to overcome the paradox of straying down the arteries of a vibrant city? How to portray the topology of that city? And, in a channelled crowd, what is the use of the eye? To look with desire when speech or contact is no longer possible? A glance. A second glance.