We’ve been back to Watch me Move, this time with a small appreciative crowd, here they are watching Tron. It’s certainly an exciting exhibition in my opinion, and they have included a lot of work by filmmakers working with animation in the broadest sense; the Themersons, Harry Smith, Fischinger, Stan Brakhage,and Martin Arnold, to name but a few. It would have been a perfect introduction to the world of animation for students, but sadly it finishes just before the next semester begins.
The artefacts relating to animation are beautiful and eye-catching, especially a zoopraxiscope of Muybridge’s called Galloping Horses, Multiple Phases and a pair of magic lantern slides depicting Alice in Wonderland made by W.R Hill in 1876. In the same space are some models and armatures, including an extremely expressive Were Rabbit. However the objects don’t quite offer a comprehensive overview of pre-cinematic devices or a context for the puppets and models. Especially muddling is the cabinet of action figures, merchandising from cartoons (x-men, superman etc) placed too high up for smaller viewers and though attractive en masse, not so pertinent to the show.
It’s not really a gripe from me though, there are plenty of other places to access the historical or technical context, not least the National Media Museum and The Museum of Childhood, plus there are so many erudite speakers and interesting panels over the period of the exhibition that the Barbican will be my second home over the summer. See you there!