30
Jan 04

Two new Mark Wallinger films

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 373 views

Two new Mark Wallinger films, currently showing at the Anthony Reynolds Gallery on Gt Marlborough St, should be the cause of much celebration. If they had anything like the effect on me that ‘The One With The Slowed Down Airport Departure Lounge’ or ‘The One Which Goes Around The Circle Line’*, which intrigued and fascinated, then I’d have been all over them.

These new two are nice, interesting. The first is a film of a film of some films, these being a set of family movies, as shown in Berlin’s Jewish Museum, Berlin. Dealing with meaning at a distance, I ended up looking at the unmoving screens and walls around the moving pictures, part of a world outside. There’s nothing wrong with the piece, but it’s forty minutes long and two or three minutes of it is enough to get the idea.

Similarly, upstairs is showing a section of from Zeffirelli’s Jesus of Nazareth, but obscuring virtually the whole screen is a large, black rectangle. The action you see makes a moving border to nothingness, and it only takes a few seconds to have an idea ‘perhaps a wrong idea – of what’s going on on-screen. So, yes, marginalisation, and how we deal with incomplete information.

One of the things I like about a lot of conceptual art is that it hits, you get the idea and then you’re done. One of the things I liked about Mark Wallinger’s work is that much of it would make me want to linger with the work, that it had more to give. By comparison these feel cute, but slight. Ten enjoyable minutes before diving back into Berwick Street.

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