Derek Jarman: Pandemonium – by Silvia Bombardini

"Our name will be forgotten. In time, no one will remember our work. […] For our time is the passing of a shadow, and our lives will run like sparks through the stubble."

(The Book of Wisdom quoted in Blue, Jarman, 1993)




Dear Shaded Viewers and Diane,


This February the 19th, 20 years will have gone by since Mr Derek Jarman passed away, only a few months after Blue, one of the most poetic and touching sights to ever have graced the big screen. Tomorrow, he would have been 72: far from forgotten, Britain intends instead to remember its genius and his countless talents in a yearlong celebration, with multiple shows, conferences and retrospectives blossoming like primroses all around London. It's #Jarman2014. In my own pilgrimage to pay homage, one first visit was indeed to the Derek Jarman: Pandemonium exhibition, presented by the Cultural Institute at King’s. With a soundtrack of Medieval incantory music and a cream and golden booklet of poems, a certain rarefied, celestial atmosphere seeped through the Inigo Rooms, by Somerset House East Wing. Starting from Jarman's undergraduate time at King's College London, with his studies of alchemy and Medieval texts and already a few grainy and eerie, early Super8 films, the show goes on to focus on the warehouses along the Thames where the artist lived through the 70s: cameras and friends, paintings and fires, diaries and film posters all on display. Towards the end, the livid glory of The Last of England is screened in its entirety, split among many screens – but across the room, a glimpse of quieter, windswept shores: it's the shingle beach of Dungeness, site of his famous sculpture garden, of The Garden, of his Prospect Cottage and ultimate peace. Coach trips to the shoreline will be organised in June.

[[{“type”:”media”,”view_mode”:”media_original”,”fid”:”6738″,”attributes”:{“alt”:””,”class”:”media-image”,”height”:”750″,”typeof”:”foaf:Image”,”width”:”750″}}]][[{“type”:”media”,”view_mode”:”media_original”,”fid”:”6739″,”attributes”:{“alt”:””,”class”:”media-image”,”height”:”750″,”style”:”line-height: 1.538em;”,”typeof”:”foaf:Image”,”width”:”750″}}]][[{“type”:”media”,”view_mode”:”media_original”,”fid”:”6740″,”attributes”:{“alt”:””,”class”:”media-image”,”height”:”750″,”style”:”line-height: 1.538em;”,”typeof”:”foaf:Image”,”width”:”750″}}]]

Derek Jarman: Pandemonium is open daily, and free, till Sunday 9 March 2014.