Spellbound: Art and Film in Britain

Hayward Gallery

Hayward Gallery, 22 February – 6 May 1996

Spellbound: Art and Film was a collaboration between the Hayward Gallery and its neighbour on London’s South Bank, the British Film Institute. It was curated by Ian Christie – a film historian who had worked with the Hayward Gallery on two previous exhibitions, Film as Film (1977) and Eisenstein (1988) – and the writer, editor and researcher Philip Dodd.

Ten artists were commissioned to make new works celebrating the close relationship between fine art and film, celebrating 100 years of cinema: Fiona Banner, Terry Gilliam, Douglas Gordon, Peter Greenaway, Damien Hirst, Steve McQueen, Eduardo Paolozzi, Paula Rego, Ridley Scott and Boyd Webb.

Spellbound featured paintings, films, sculpture, photography and installations and took over the entirety of the Hayward Gallery.

In the upper galleries, the film director Peter Greenaway created a dramatic installation that stripped cinema back to its bare essentials. Greenaway described the installation, In the Dark (1993), as an ‘ironic ... deconstructed cinema kit’.

Peter Greenaway's In the Dark and Terry Gilliam's Monolith of Filing Cabinets.

Douglas Gordon slowed Alfred Hitchcock’s cult classic to three frames per minute for his 24-hour Psycho (1993).

Boyd Webb collaborated with the team behind the satirical programme Spitting Image to create a film celebrating the ‘life and loves’ of a popcorn kernel.

Paula Rego presented 20 canvasses inspired by her fascination with the work of Walt Disney

Inventory of items in Peter Greenaway's installation In the Dark.

Maintenance notes for Peter Greenaway's installation In the Dark.

Sketch of Peter Greenaway's installation In the Dark.

Sketch of Terry Gilliam's Monolith of Filing Cabinets.

Sketch of Terry Gilliam's Monolith of Filing Cabinets.

Sketch of Terry Gilliam's Monolith of Filing Cabinets.

Collage by Terry Gilliam giving an impression of his work for Spellbound: Art and Film.

Elsewhere on the lower floor of the exhibition Fiona Banner took Vietnam War films including Apocalypse Now (1979) as the basis of her text-based work and Eduardo Paolozzi re-created a set from an imaginary film, mixing props from real films with his own handmade objects.

For Spellbound, Damien Hirst created his first ever narrative film. Hanging Around (1993) was a dark comedy featuring the actor Keith Allen, the musician Jarvis Cocker and the comedian Eddie Izzard.

Spellbound: Art and Film was attended by 59,825 visitors – the highest number of visitors for a group exhibition of contemporary art at this point in the Hayward Gallery’s history. Richard Dorment, writing in the Telegraph, found ‘much to admire’ – not least Douglas Gordon’s 24-hour Psycho (1993): ‘one of the most impressive works by a young artist I’ve come across in recent years.’

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