Hell has only a week to go. On the 13th,, a day considered to be bad luck (even if it is a Saturday), the lights will go out on German artist John Bock’s brooding and sinister “Hell’s Bells” at Sadie Coles HQ.
The centrepiece is the dark bloody western full-length film “Hells Bells, starring leading German actors including Lars Eidinger, Bibiana Beglau, Frank Seppeler and Laurenz Leky. Set in unidentified western town, the characters include a stranger who arrives with a deaf, but malevolent, child, a priest full of self-loathing, a colourful but evil jester and a cowboy who is shot but never dies. Dark and sinister, the film also contains strange mechanical models, which relate to the sculptural installations running through the main gallery, separated by fabric “shadows” from desert encampments and united by a malevolent blood-red organism which stretches across the gallery, like a huge uncontrolled mother spider.
The sinister sculptures derive from scenes in the film and act as a sequel in which visitors become part of the installation as John Bock’s imagination takes the story further with these demonic figures and scenes. Also on show are 3-D collages composed from stills of the film, reminiscent of old western film posters showing the actors in several scenes, combining romance along with life and death, love and hate, and delight and horror, as the surprises in the film flowing like the blood of the victims are captured in these collages.