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August 2019
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Color Motet

St Augustine’s Church
55 Fulham Palace Road
London
W6 8AU

1st to 9th June 2019
PV: 29th May 2019 – 6.30 to 9.30 pm


As part of the HF ArtsFest (Hammersmith & Fulham Arts Festival), Austin Forum is delighted to exhibit “Color Motet”, inspired by the musical composition – or motet – “Spem in Alium” (in English – “In No Other Is My Hope”). The video installation is a work by Mark Dean, artist and Anglican priest. Projected onto Julian Stair’s monumental altar at St Augustine’s Catholic Church in Hammersmith, the work continues the artist’s exploration in recent years of the liturgical potential of his work; a natural progression from previous works “Stations of the Cross” and “Stations of the Resurrection.

Mark’s piece is a fusion and collage of two videos: one of the Mary’s Day processions organised by the art department of the Immaculate Heart of Mary school, led by the ‘60s pop artist and nun, Sister Corita Kent. The second, in contrast, is a compilation of people fainting or collapsing during weddings and liturgical rites. Additionally, Thomas Tallis’ 40 part Renaissance motet plays over
them. The tension created between the two contrasting videos creates an unnerving and otherworldly feel, hinting possibly at a creative power which gives life and allows for death too.

Mark Dean – The Artist
Dean made his first looped film appropriation work in the 1970’s while studying photography and painting; in the 1980’s he began working with musical loops in bands and as a DJ; he eventually combined these practices in the methodology for which he became recognised as a video and sound artist:

In the 1990’s, the film archive (or, by this time, the video store) also proved a fertile feeding ground for the yBa generation, especially Douglas Gordon and Mark Dean …By contrast, Mark Dean’s appropriations from Hollywood are more like votive offerings; tiny scraps of footage – a gesture by Judy Garland, a look by Brando – isolated and looped to drain them of any hint of narrative (other than the broad narrative of celebrity), so we can adore and worship. – David Curtis, A History of Artists’ Film and Video in Britain (British Film Institute).

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