Oct 07 2011
Exhibition Programmer, Alison Morton on the Millennium Gallery's new, immersive contemporary art installation:
Ian Breakwell’s film The Other Side opened last week at the Millennium Gallery. It’s a beautifully nostalgic and slightly melancholic film – but there’s a twist at the end so make sure you watch it all! The film, which shows senior citizens dancing The Waltz to Schubert’s Piano Trio Nocturne on a balcony overlooking the sea, is really mesmerising and really does transport you to another world. When you watch the slow, graceful movement of the dancers and then see their stark absence on the opposite screen, it definitely makes you think about our mortality and the fragility of human life. But the piece is so beautiful it can be enjoyed on many other levels.
Ian Breakwell is not hugely well known, but has always had a significant influence on artists and art students. He was one of the first artists in the 1960’s to experiment with performance art and later on in his career he undertook artist residencies at different organisations and institutions before this was common place – The Other Side was the result of a residency at the Del La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill–on–Sea in 2000.
Breakwell has produced work in a wide variety of media, including a number broadcasts made for Channel 4 during the 1990s. There is a comprehensive resource area in the gallery where you can find out more about this artist, including a 1970’s documentary from the made for TV arts series Arena and many of his publications.
Image: Courtesy of the estate of Ian Breakwell and Tate Archive with thanks to the De La Warr Pavilion © Tate London.