MothMan IN A BOX Review by Victoria Samantha Smith
photo by CHE Yuanning
The MA Fine Art Show 2007 at the University of Central Lancashire presented a diverse collection of contemporary art, researched and developed by the students. The art of Tony Knox was exceptional. After several years developing the pseudo hero, Mothman, this has culminated in a series of intriguing approaches in his creative practice from live art interventions, large reproduction prints, comic book narratives of the creature, digital video, multi-media gaming and the internet.
Each of these different constructs in space on how the concept of the hero in post-modern society and popular culture are born and experienced. Knox show cases the many transitions the alter ego has evolved through various geographical locations and cultures. From the heart of Edinburgh to the streets of Koln. Antics captured by the pyramids in Egypt to the idiosyncratic battles of Mothman versus the Funkadelic Chicken and more. Each explored and rendered through the extensive range of media applied. The embodiment of Mothman and Nutcracker in the arcade machine was done in collaboration with Knox and Charles Nuttall.
On Wednesday 19 September 2007 at the opening of the exhibition, Knox appeared in his guise of Mothman and did a performance. He stood on a wooden bench with the illumination of a bright light from below. In his golden lycra attire, mesh wings and antenna protruding he places on his head a Perspex box. The piece was titled ‘Moth in a Box’. The idea of the canon is the categorisation of what the hero portends and determined by the institutionalised and philosophical parameters. These boundaries the alter ego of the pseudo contemporary hero and in this live art attempts to liberate itself. Hence, the ‘Moth in the Box’ unnervingly manoeuvres it’s head within the confines of the space surrounding its head. The surreal and strange repetitious movements concludes to the point of struggle in the box crashing down to the floor and shattering into pieces.
‘Mothman’ has developed into an extensive inquiry of the hero and addressed in range of media. The work is extraordinary and entices the curiosities of the viewer.
The other students who have shown their art in the exhibition are Craig Atkinson, Iain Bailey, May Gillett, Robert Gittens, Helen Hicks, Chantal Hobbs, Tony Knox, Konstantelos Evangelos, Patricia McDonald, Rachel Pearson, Siv Sondergaard, Elaine Speight, Myra Stylianou and Che Yuanning.
For more information on the work of the students from UCLAN go to:
You can see a video of Mothman’s Edinburgh performance on youtube