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Exhibition idea seems familiar; Views of the North.

HAVING read yesterday's article on the 10th anniversary of Baltic I was caused to contact you regarding artist Mark Wallinger who is currently exhibiting in the gallery.

While I have admired some of Mr Wallinger's work and thought that his Ecce Homo was the best piece to adorn the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square, I have misgivings over the installation he is about to exhibit in the National Gallery, London, as part of the Cultural Olympiad's London 2012 Festival.

Visitors to Metamorphosis: Titian 2012, at the National Gallery can spy through a peephole, blinds and a keyhole at models having a bath. This contemporary piece, given intellectual gravitas for its references to Actaeon having a "butchers at goddess Diana soaking in a Radox bath before being discovered and turned into a stag and torn apart by her dogs", bears a remarkable similarity to an installation by Sandy Powell exhibited at Belsay in 2007.

Sandy Powell, the award-winning designer, 10 times nominated for the Oscar, winning for Shakespeare in Love, The Aviator and The Young Victoria, installed such a peephole into Lady Middleton's bedroom in the English Heritage-sponsored exhibition, Picture House, at Belsay in May 2007.

The public were invited to watch "Lady Middleton" through the keyhole. As The Journal reported at the time, "visitors will see a choreographed and intimate film of a lady who is dressing and undressing and unaware she has an audience."

The climax of the work is when she does become aware and walks towards the door.

Admittedly I was not turned into a stag and torn to pieces, however, having seen Ms Powell's effort which was very clever, site-specific and emphasised the viewer's role as voyeur, I do not feel the need to repeat the experience at the National Gallery. Congratulations and happy birthday to Baltic.

TOM MOORE, Jesmond, Newcastle
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jul 13, 2012
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