The Wasp Room presents a solo exhibition of Stuart Croft's film Drive In: an endless road movie that explores apocrypha, paradise and the monologue form.
Cinema is littered with road movie couples whose destructive fate is sealed from the opening credits. There is often violence, and almost always a myriad of characters encountered on the road, attempting to signpost us towards existential discovery.
In Drive In, none of this happens. Stuart Croft's movie-couple encounter no violence, meet no fateful ending and find no resolve. Instead, their road journey is ceaseless. They meet no one and arrive nowhere.
Drive In features two characters whose car glides through a nameless, rain-soaked city at night. The passenger, a super-confident American woman in her late twenties, recounts a classic, but barely disguised, male fantasy to a middle-aged man driving the car, who remains unnervingly silent throughout.
A âdesert island' shaggy-dog tale, her monologue describes a pathetic guy washed up on a paradise island who stumbles across the woman of his dreams; a joke-story from which Croft has removed the punchline so that, somewhat perversely, it never ends. Both joke and journey recur in the gallery space as a seamlessly conjoined circle. Furthermore, the woman delivers her monologue as a diatribe; a caustic indictment discharged toward her male companion. The fantasy image of utopian paradise, rendered through the desert island joke, collides with the idealised image of the city, rendered via the movie camera.
Shot on celluloid and on the road with the full apparatus of a film crew, Drive In appears to be a convincing slice of a commercial feature film. Yet with endlessness at the core of Croft's scriptwriting, editing and gallery installation, he infinitely denies linear cinematic assurances.
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