The Death Waltz


Curated by Mark Mangion

3 September → 27 September 2009
Malta Contemporary Art, Marsa

At a formal dinner party in a baronial mansion, a Scottish man in his early thirties delivers a violent, gothic ghost story to a group of silent guests. The story, as told by the man, recounts the tale of two soldiers who are serving together in an unnamed war. The man describes how the couple appear at a homecoming party as violently disfigured ghosts, and dance a frenetic 'waltz' with each other to demonic music. In the man's story, the couple return to active service, only to return endlessly to the party. The man's story is continuous, written in an entirely circular format.
The piece was shot by the film's own actors who played the dinner guests at the table. Each actor sequentially filmed part of the Scottish man's story from their 'point of view', using a Super-8mm film camera. This was passed from actor to actor around the table, concurrently forming a continuous, endless circle.
'The Death Waltz' makes reference to the genres of murder mystery and Hammer House, and simultaneously to the traditional codes of artists' film.

Stuart Croft (b. 1970 - d. 2015) is an artist / filmmaker, graduated from Chelsea College of Art & Design in 1998. His dialogue-based, character-driven films are shown in art galleries and museum spaces, as installations and single-screen projections. His work has been shown across the world in over 20 countries to date. 
Recent solo shows include The Wrong Road, MuKHA-Media, 2009 Antwerp, Drive In, REIS Projects, Antwerp, 2009, Fred, London, 2009. Group Shows include Love in the Age of Postponed Democracy, Kunsthalle Luzern, Switzerland, 2009, Artists vs. Hollywood, Globe City, Newcastle, 2009, GSK Contemporary, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2008, Theatre of Cruelty, White Box, New York, 2007.