St John on Bethnal Green, 200 Cambridge Heath Rd, London.
The first GHost exhibitions took influence from the phantasmagoria ghost shows. Projections, sounds, smells, performances, made for an immersive experience.
The atmospheric venue of St John Bethnal Green was used to full effect. GHost’s AV technician installed a huge movie sized screen in the nave and it is still used by the venue to this date.
We made our first show reel of short international artist ghost films, selected from an open call. The GHost show-reel became a regular feature of GHost exhibitions.
Artists: Federico Campanale, Ami Clarke, Andrew Cooper, Jo David, Lisa Fielding-Smith, Tessa Garland, Magnus Irvin, Richard Mansfield, Sabine Schöbel, Nikki Sehmi, Reverend Marc Vaulbert de Chantilly, Rosco S. Treadaway, Darshana Vora,, Phil Wilson-Perkins.
With Thanks To:
The Parochial Church Council at St Johns on Bethnal Green.
Paul Dillon – AV4Art for AV supply and installation
Jonathan McKay for making the showreel
Here are some glimpses from the night:
“Anomaly”Jo David, UK, 2008, film, 15 min loop.
The film shows the artist’s encounter with an urban fox one night in spring. The creature’s wild nature is highlighted by the urban setting and its reaction upon sensing the ‘watcher’ is eerie and magical. What follows is an exhibition of behaviour that is challenging, even menacing and yet, there seems to be an underlying longing for some kind of connection between the animal and the human.
‘Stella and George’ uses stop-motion and hand-drawn animation to create a story about a family memory stored within old domestic furniture. Stella and George emerge from an old piano leg and a door frame respectively and go looking to be re-united with each other. One TV shows the story of Stella, the other the story of George. The hand-carved wooden TVs become containers for the spirits of these lost souls.
Sarah Sparkes’s work ‘you are here’ consists of a ply wood coffin, built to fit the artist, and standing on two trestle tables. Through a peep hole, in the foot of the coffin, the viewer has a glimpse of a twinkling tunnel of lights disappearing out of site.
“The Touch that Moves”, “They Fly with Us”, “The Dance of Waiting”, triptych on 3 screens, loop Albert Price, UK, 2008
“Wind 1”, sound installation, Darshana Vora, UK/India, 2003
Inside the church and unseen to everyone a strange musician is playing an unconventional score. As the music seeps through the closed doors of the church the visitors are subjected to a series of ‘subliminal messages’. All the sounds in the piece have been extracted from the ‘spoken texts’ in the Bible, The Bhagwad Gita and the Quran. Each sound is hence a word, relating to the scriptures describing paradise/heaven.
“Kogel Vogel (Bullet Bird)”, Dir. Federico Campanale, Netherlands, 2007, 6 min
A bullet is fired through a succession of glass panels in a blacked-out room. The only light is the spark of the bullet which lights up the shards of splintered glass as it passes through each panel. The action is shown at different speeds and from different angles. The only sound is that of splintering glass. A beautiful and eerie film.
“Stella and George” Andrew Cooper, UK, 2008, 5 min
This is the third part and compendium to Cooper’s installation. Will Stella and George finally be reunited?
“Zombie”, Dir. Tessa Garland, UK, 2008, 3 m
This supermarket horror film is based on George Romero’s 1960’s cult film Night of the Living Dead. In Zombie, an ordinary supermarket becomes a film set, where the shoppers become unsuspecting actors in a short but climatic horror sequence. Zombie was shot on a mobile phone camera which gives the film its style of part surveillance, part disposable and throw-away.
“Desecration” Niki Sehmi, UK, 2008, 3 min
The assailant begins well poised for the act. There is a transformation from total control to the ridiculous and then desperation. The observer is unfortunately encouraging the inevitable rather than offering salvation.
“Flasher” Dir. Magnus Irvin, UK, 2007, 3 min
Find out where Belisha Beacons come from. Behold the transformation of a man into an item of street furniture. See the ferocious, jumping beacon hand wreak vengeance on the callous Mr. Podomowski. Witness the birth of a Belisha Beacon.
“Rorschach and Prozac, a suburban Christmas” Ami Clarke, UK, 2004, 4 min
A humorous take on the perils of suburbia during the Christmas break, taking as its reference the Rorschach inkblot test method of psychological evaluation, and the schlock horror films that navigate the territory between the familiar suburban landscape and the uncanny. Using lo-res footage filmed on Christmas day in the family car driving home, the horror genre cliché of female victim-cum-avenger; brimming with dangerous psychic energy, is sent up in the filmmaker’s gaze upon the territory of her adolescence. The soundtrack, taken from Italian auteur Dario Argento’s 1977 horror film ‘Suspiria’ “effects a sense of immersion, a sense of compulsion as opposed to control, drive as opposed to desire.”
“Necromancer” Lisa Fielding-Smith, UK, 2007, 3 min
The original footage depicts six lead toys: a huntswoman, a land army girl, a milkmaid, a nurse, a lady bowls player and a flower girl. The figures have been burned one after the other in flames (poisonous fumes). The footage is then reversed emulating the figures to resurrect from the embers of fire.
“The Mist on the Water: A spooky puppet ghost story” Dir Richard Mansfield, UK, 2008, 2.30 min
Shot in black and white with the eerie voice of an unseen narrator, this film has a charming yet unsettling quality that evokes the spine tinglers of those classic days of the BBC Christmas Ghost story.
INTERMISSION – 15 minutes
“Whistle and I’ll come to you” 42 mins Dir. Jonathan Miller UK 1968