Matt Rowe’s works, Mummers Ghillie and Bad Omen, incorporate PVC Fly screens and VHS horror-video tapes, the text tells us that ‘Mummers Ghillie is an attempt to represent a heroic landscape on a limited budget.’ hinting at comic incompleteness. The purpose of a Ghillie suit is to render the wearer unseen in a landscape. Those in Matt Rowe’s videos are eminently visible. The apparent contradiction between purpose and effect follows what might be his stock in trade of serious tongue-in-cheek. His ghillies in Mummers Ghillie (….a decorative suit and action investigating the ritual of defense and concealment, death and resurrection.’) and Bad omen are betrayed by the appearance of inoffensive shoes and loose-fitting trousers Like an uncle out with the kids for Trick-or-Treat the figure in Mummers Ghillie waits not quite knowing what to do next, or maybe saddened by the futility of it all, whilst battlefield smoke drifts past. The video was made’…within site (sic) of an 18th century Napoleonic fort in Kent, rumoured to be the birthplace of the modern British Army.
Review by David Minton