Stuart Croft: The Death Waltz

18 Nov 2010 – 30 Jan 2011


London, United Kingdom


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  • Oxford Circus, Regents Park, Great Portland Street

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FRED [London] Ltd presents a solo exhibition of Stuart Croft's film ‘The Death Waltz': a circular ghost story that alludes to gothic apocrypha, Hammer House and Bu࠱uel. At a formal dinner party in a grand mansion, a Scottish man delivers a ghost story to a group of silent guests. The story recounts the tale of soldiers Celia and Joe, a young couple who are serving together in an unnamed war. Returning on leave, the couple arrive at a nervously arranged homecoming party. To the horror of their guests, Joe and Celia emerge as violently disfigured ghosts, and they dance a frenzied 'waltz' with each other. The couple return to active service, and yet Joe and Celia come back, year after year, to dance the same deathly dance. Written in an entirely circular format, the film runs on an endlessly recurring loop. ‘The Death Waltz' continues Stuart Croft's investigation of the monologue form, and asks what happens when apocryphal narrative is applied to the circular condition of the gallery space. Shot on Super-8mm film, ‘The Death Waltz' cites 1950s Hammer aesthetics and the dinner-party trope of Luis Bu࠱uel, as much as the traditional codes of artists' filmmaking. ‘The Death Waltz' is the second film in Stuart Croft's ‘Trilogy of Night' series. The first part was the critically acclaimed film ‘Drive In', which was described by Art Monthly as ‘a new direction in experimentation.' The final part of the trilogy is ‘The Stag Without a Heart', which will be premiered in European venues during 2010-11.

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