At The Still Point Of The Turning World

Stephen Dean, Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba, Yang Zhenzhong, Juan-Pedro Fabra Guemberena
FACT, runs to 3 May 2004

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

Taking its title from a line in TS Eliot’s Burnt Notion, this exhibition is a mixed bag of videoes and installation work.

Juan-Pedro Fabra Guemberena’s True Colours is the least interesting of the pieces. Over four screens, it examines the use of camouflage by a group of Swedish soldiers in a rural part of that country. Fascinating!!

Yang Zhenzhong's Let's Puff would definitely appeal to young children. It is based on the simple idea of a woman projected on one screen puffing out breath in the direction of a screen opposite. Whenever she blows, the people on a crowded Shanghai street shimmer and vibrate.

A more inventive and compelling work is the pretentiously titled 'Memorial Project Vietnam: Towards the Complex – For the Courageous, the Curious, and the Cowards'. This is quality film making by the Vietnamese artist Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba, in which a bicycle race takes place on the bottom of the ocean floor, with shimmering, dappled reflections of sunlight dancing on the sands.

But without doubt the best work of all four artists at FACT is by Stephen Dean. A film of a holi – a celebratory Indian ceremony, a holi, it is predominantly blood red in colour, and possesses a passionate, sensuous effect.

There are a lot of painterly scenes, including very abstract images, which literally flash onto the screen for a split second at a time..