"What are they doing? Why do they come here?
Part of instinct, memory, what they used to do. This was an important place
in their lives."
Dawn of the Dead, George Romero
In the clutches of trees in the park that surrounds Matt’s Gallery, on
the derelict ground between the ruined warehouses, along the slow-moving canal,
there is movement. Shambolic teenagers emerge and move as if motivated by some
They are the undead!
They are moving, dragging their stiff limbs towards the few inhabited buildings
at the park’s edge. Instinctively they gravitate towards a set of open
shutter-doors....THEY ARE INSIDE THE BUILDING! Like automata the zombies invade
the gallery. They are searching, striving to find objects that had relevance
in their lives; televisions, phones, clothes to wear, a sofa to slouch on -
and in their vacancy their searchings spiral into a mindless carnival of activity.
But wait! They are aware that we are watching them!
Born in 1965 and educated at Camberwell School of Art, London, and the Rijksakademie
van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, Sean Dower has been included in a number of
prominent group exhibitions including Lost Property, W139, Amsterdam & Great
Western Studios, London, 1995, Against, Anthony d’Offay Gallery,London,
Pandemonium, ICA, London, and Rational Behaviour at The Tannery, London, all
In his new installation for Matt’s Gallery, his first major commission
for a public gallery, the artist presents a three-dimensional video installation
that plunders the visual conventions of low-budget 1970’s horror films,
then mixes them with contemporary street culture and the mythology of the undead
to be found in Voodoo. Within the apparent humour in Dower’s work there
is a darkness that leaves us feeling uneasy with our laughter, perhaps in the
realisation that we mask what we feel uncomfortable about in humour.
We share our attendance in the gallery with these unconscious beings. Becoming
self-conscious, we are left to wonder to what extent we too go about our own
lives in the fog of routine and conditioned behaviour.
The zombies are amongst us! They walk within our galleries!
Return to top