From Desk Till Dawn

My mainly music & nerd bird blog

There Are Minotaurs In The Tunnels

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I took two trips to The Old Vic Tunnels to see what Lazarides had created, with the help of an eclectic range of artists, in The Minotaur exhibition. The first was a surprise for Lolita (who two years ago would have ridiculed all art so that fact he now actively engages with exhibitions proves that he has come through puberty. Fact). The second visit was owing to the fact I am an idiot most of the time and deleted the most amazing photographs from the first visit. I don’t claim to be the proud owner of great knowledge in art, theatre, politics or anything for that matter. But I get excited and enthused by things and stuff and all sorts that engage me. Hence the geek out posts about exhibitions from time to time.

For those of you unfamiliar with the story of The Minotaur, Aphrodite was offended by King Minos of Crete boastful and arrogant ways so she compelled his Queen to fall in love with a bull. As we are in the territory of Greek Mythology this union resulted in the birth of a creature with the head of a bull and the body of a human. The Minotaur was hidden away in a labyrinth and its hunger could only be sated by feeding on youthful, unwed virgins. The most stunning, beautiful men and women were offered up to The Minotaur until Theseus swore he would slay it. He promised his father Aegeus that he would display a white sail if victorious on his return.

When Theseus arrived in Crete his mission was  aided by King Minos’ daughter Ariadene who provided a ball of twine so Theseus could trace his steps back through the labyrinth after he killed the beast. On his return home to Athens he deserted Ariadene and took her sister Phaedra as his lover instead. As he sailed towards home he was distracted with victory so much that he forgot to fly the white sails. His father, waiting on top of the cliffs for his sons return, presumed he had failed and threw himself to death, dashed on the rocks below.

The location for an exhibition dedicated to this tale could not have been any more perfect, just when you thought you were finished viewing Zak Ove strange Zulu models and skulls you’d step back only to have a looming shadow of The Minotaur projected on the bare bricks above your head, cast by cleverly spaced works coming together. Atma’s crucified beast threw a shadowed cross across the floor, over candles, up to the domed ceilings. Female street artist Lucy McLauchlan created a robotic style beast that looked like it was created from a barren tip but as you look closer again those shadows cast mighty horns and faces appear at the feet of the monster.

However it was David Fosters visual art that I was transfixed by on both visits.  A pitch black room with an installation emitting a vibrant yet eerie glow that morphed into faces, space, galaxies, creatures, wisps of electric blue smoke and of course The Minotaur.

Lolita claimed every new shape looked like a vagina and went back to look at the huge ball of rats as it reminded him of Neil Gaimans Neverwhere, on this occasion created by David Falconer. Not sure what Freud would have to say about that.

It felt like we were somehow being let in on a secret and I relished every moment of my feet clopping across the cobblestones. It was at times playful. Stanley Donwoods, Radioheads official artist, maze blinded you with strobe lights, mirrored rooms and ultraviolet glows that turned Lolita’s nails green. Equally I was taken with the sadness in Anthony Micallef’s beautiful paintings. Hands down the best exhibition I have ever been too and will be intrigued to see what they come up with next.

Photos from the exhibition can be found on Flickr.

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Written by Anon PA

November 2, 2011 at 12:15 pm

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