Some fathers build their children dolls houses or railway layouts, perhaps a racing track for their cars. but Charlie Fox’s grandfather built him a haunted house, in which Charles would let his imagination run wild while he pretended that he was a bat or a ghost or a werewolf. How strange is that? And, it seems to have been something with which he retained a fascination, filling his brain with all sort of media to do with the weird and the wonderful. Borlos Korloff, eat your heart out – you have a fan!
Now a writer, with his recent book of essays ‘The Young Monster’ published in 2017, Charles Fox has been let loose in Sadie Coles HQ in London as curator of ‘My Head is a Haunted House’.
You enter onto a zig-zag floor, at the centre of which is the Haunted House, looking innocent and complete from the front, but with room at the back for monsters – and children – to hide in. Moving from the zig-zag floor to the main area, two sinister rocking chairs bridge the divide – do you have the courage to sit in them, or will you conjure up monsters and ghosts? Thereafter a variety of works by around 20 artists including the likes of Ed Atkins, Larry Clark, Megan Marrin and Cameron Jamie take you, the viewer, through different aspects of the world of ghosts, hauntings, unexplained moving lights, sinister animals and monsters, some of which come alive on the film screen in the centre of the room.
Fascinating as the exhibition is, with many works not seen before, you are left with many questions. One, of course, is what influence has all this information stored in Charles Fox’s brain had on his life and work; the other is what does it mean for us? What is our ongoing fascination with Frankenstein, Dracula, Sebrina the Teenage Witch, Caspar the Ghost, the Adams Family and a host of other mysterious and ghostly characters…..?