Video Art Program[The 58th Program] Matt Rowe


Bad Omen, 2011, color, sound, 3min.58sec.
Archipelago Ghillie, 2016, color, sound, 1min.32sec.

As the title suggests, an ominous atmosphere pervades Bad Omen from beginning to end. The dense masses of long, thin strips shrouding the figure that appears in it are a common motif in Rowe’s works. These costumes are modeled on Ghillie suits, a form of camouflage worn by hunters and snipers. In Rowe’s works the long strips intended to resemble plant fibers are replaced with various materials such as multi-colored tape and lace ribbons, and in this work the dark strips are unspooled horror movie videotape.
Bad Omen appears on the surface to be comical parody that intentionally emphasizes its shoestring budget, but chilling, suddenly interposed shots are made all the more striking by their contrast with the video’s farcical production values.
In recent years Lowe has sought to reinterpret the cultural resources of various regions through workshops and projects, and Archipelago Ghillie is an extension of these activities, conveying a sense of indigenous folk practices and mysterious phenomena lurking in the routines of daily life.

Matt Rowe:
Born in Wakefield in 1981, lives in Folkestone, England. Matt Rowe majored in ceramics and glass design at Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College, graduating with honors in 2002. He continued studying ceramics at the University of Wales, Institute Cardiff, earning a master’s degree in 2004. Major solo exhibitions include Grit in the oyster (2017) at B&B Project Space (Folkestone, UK), and group exhibitions include Make! Believe! Make! (2012) at Portsmouth City Museum, Aspex Gallery (UK), and 59.14 N 3.34 W(2012), Brough of Birsay, Orkney (UK).