Wall of Death was a physically imposing, conceptually agile installation that took the form of a purpose-built wooden cyclorama in which two video projectors were mounted on a rotating platform so that the images that emanated from them travelled in circles over its interior walls. A throwback to the pre-cinematic fairground entertainments of the panorama and the diorama, the structure reproduced the gravity-defying angles of a motorcycle wall of death – an allusion that was extended by the choice of imagery that was projected, which consisted of high-speed, high-impact car-chases from classic movies (Vanishing Point, French Connection, French Connection 2). In hot pursuit of the car in front, but unable to close the distance between them, the drivers are locked in a tense closed circuit in which the thrill of the action is shadowed by an underlying, inescapable sense of frustration. Cropped and vignetted like searchlight beams, the projected images are picked out amongst a screeching cacophony of disembodied sound.
Cornerhouse, Manchester: 21 August – 10 October 1999
The Paper Bag Factory, London: 1–29 February 2000
A Film and Video Umbrella Touring Exhbition, commissioned in association with Cornerhouse. Supported by the Arts Council of England and The London Institute, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. The London staging was supported by London Arts Board.
Installation Photography: Cornerhouse.