Giant Red Camera Brightens Up St James

M@
By M@ Last edited 103 months ago
Giant Red Camera Brightens Up St James
"Why, Sir, clearly it's a giant red camera trained on the crystalline head of Karl Marx. A common sight around these parts," we informed him.
"Why, Sir, clearly it's a giant red camera trained on the crystalline head of Karl Marx. A common sight around these parts," we informed him.
Round the back, you'll encounter posters and stills from the Michelangelo Antonioni film Blow-up.
Round the back, you'll encounter posters and stills from the Michelangelo Antonioni film Blow-up.
If you've ever wanted to watch a 1960's cult movie through Karl Marx's cranium, this would be a golden opportunity.
If you've ever wanted to watch a 1960's cult movie through Karl Marx's cranium, this would be a golden opportunity.
"What the f*ck is that," one passer-by was heard to exclaim.
"What the f*ck is that," one passer-by was heard to exclaim.
The glassy countenance of Karl Marx stares hard into the lens.
The glassy countenance of Karl Marx stares hard into the lens.

At first it looks like one of those View-Master contraptions from the 1970s. Remember them? They enabled the viewing of stills from famous movies, or images of landmarks or Royal weddings. Cumbersome photo-discs for those who found books too convenient. But this is not a View-Master, it's a giant red camera. And it's sitting in the middle of Economist plaza until 9 September.

The piece, by artist Martin Sexton, is called 'Blow-Up - Sex with Karl Marx'. Let's break that curious title down into its components. The 'Blow-Up' bit refers to the cult 1960's movie of the same name by Michaelangelo Antonioni. The opening scenes of that film were shot around Economist Plaza. The 'Sex' part is another nod to the film, which has its moments of rumpy-pumpy. And as for Marx, well he's there too in the form of a crystalline bust staring into the 'blown-up' camera. What's he looking at? Scenes from Blow-Up playing on a TV screen behind the lens. Further references to the film are plastered on the arse of the camera. We've no idea what it all means (impenetrable artspeak describes it as 'the collapsed narrative between communism and capitalism...revealed as a Sadean master and servant relationship'), but can't help but admire such a bold monument to paparazzi within clicking distance of St James Palace.

Economist Plaza can be found just off St James Street, beneath the charmingly uncharming Economist Building.

Last Updated 18 July 2009