ahh... Peter Forde oooooh!Ahh… Arts Igniting Minds
The Tower Bridge Gallery
10 St Katharine’s Way,
London E1W 1LE.
020 7488 4716

A review of Peter Forde’s Oooooh! By Chloe Preece

Now that we have turned the clocks back and winter is officially here, as the dark and cold sets in, anything to relieve the dreariness of everyday living is welcomed. This charming little piece of digital art by artist Peter Forde helps a little. At first glance, an ordinary CCTV projection of a rather boring, corporate street becomes a fascinating piece of live art by virtue of its liveliness and lightheartedness. Projected onto the doors of Ahh… Arts Igniting Minds just under Tower Bridge and next to the Tower of London (a notoriously haunted spot), a ghost comes out to play after dark. Responding to movement it tends to appear behind you, hovering on screen just long enough to make you do a double take, the element of surprise making the experience that much more intense.

Taking as his art the human presence, Forde successfully changes the feel of the area and puts its inhabitants at the heart of the work. The charm of the piece is to be found in its low tech delivery, video is used simply and gracefully in the service of art, exploiting the possibilities of technology without neglecting the humanistic role of art. The delivery also creates a beautiful painterly quality, the movement seems slightly slowed down, magnifying movements in time so that the video becomes a kind of microscope, enlarging the viewers role in the space, encouraging them to sink into the image and connect with it, making it unusually accessible within a contemporary art context. There is also a certain air of nostalgia, the video is reminiscent of early cinema and vaudeville, the movements nearly Keatonesque and equally amusing. The real joy to be found is in the total immersion environment that envelops the viewer into the art; the choice is total immersion or walk away, a risky strategy for a non-captive audience but the work is seductive enough to be successful and judging by the reactions it has been eliciting, both locals and tourists are responding positively with the requisite camera-phone pictures of themselves and the apparition.

Pics here: www.ahh.uk.com

Video: click here