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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"This is beyond my ken - and my Barbie - and all my action figures."
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February 27 2006

I am dreaming of Buffy. ‘Gothic Nightmares’, a fabulous art exhibition at the Tate Britain in London, now on until 1st May 2006.

Gothic Nightmares explores the work of Henry Fuseli (1741–1825) and William Blake (1757–1827) in the context of the Gothic – the taste for fantastic and supernatural themes which dominated British culture from around 1770 to 1830.

Featuring over 120 works by these artists and their contemporaries, the exhibition creates a vivid image of a period of cultural turmoil and daring artistic invention.


As a literary phenomenon, the Gothic has had an enduring influence. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818), and the novels of Matthew ‘Monk’ Lewis, William Beckford and Ann Radcliffe are still widely read. Modern Gothic novelists including Angela Carter, Patrick McGrath and Toni Morrison are highly regarded, and the Gothic continues to influence film and TV – from classics like Nosferatu (1922) through to Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997–2002) – and visual artists like Glenn Brown and the Chapman brothers. This exhibition is the first to explore the roots of this phenomenon in the visual arts of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century.

This is a supercool exhibition which you really shouldn’t miss if you live in London or come to visit before May. I don’t think there was any Buffy shown in the exhibition itself, but I didn’t sit through the entire film loop explaining the continued influence of Gothic art , so I may have missed it. They certainly showed clips from various other films, like Nosferatu.

I had the most amazing experience when I went to this exhibition yesterday. In amongst all us ordinary, milling about on a Sunday afternoon folk, there were about 15 people full on dressed in Goth fashion. With really nice costumes, flowing coats, hats, gloves, the full works. I didn’t know whether to look at the art or the public!

It was the most surreal experience I’ve ever had in an art gallery. Good for them and lots of fun for the rest of us.

I hope Joss had a chance to see this while he was in London, with or without Goths, I’m sure he would have enjoyed it.
That sounds really fantastic. Anne Rice wasn't mentioned? She sort of defines modern Gothic literature for me.

(And Buffy ended in 2003, but hey, we can't all be perfect.)
And Buffy ended in 2003


Not in my heart it didn't.
Okay, I'm going to wax all nostalgic about Buffy by quoting a certain man named Bill:

"We put a bullet in her head, but her heart just kept on beatin'."

The "we," by the way, is not "us," per se, but "they" at the production who decided to close it down.

Ahem.
This is one exhibit I would just love to go to. Some of the paintings featured, are just fantastic. Plus I'd have the added benefit of getting about 30 goth kiddies to come with me, getting them to fall in love with the art also. I hope they bring it to Sydney at some time.
And that, Simon, is why you are the perfect person to be one of the owner/organizer/mods here.
No chance I'll be seeing this show, but I'm betting the show catalog will be awesome (and cheaper than a plane ticket across the pond, although possibly, in retrospect, not by much).

It seems like Goth culture has infiltered everything this year, including high fashion. Some of Dior's haute couture designs for Fall 06 are glamour ghoul-perfect.
miranda- My sister was one of those goths! She obviously can't join whedonesque at the moment so she asked me to pass on this message:

"There were actually about 50 of us going for part of a friends birthday celebration and we weren't actually in 'costume'. Its our normal clothing. But I am glad we made your visit more interesting! :) Emma xxx"

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