the centre of attention
To predict the future you must change the past
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An installation by the Centre of Attention at Beckford's Tower, Lansdown Road, Bath BA1 2LR

Curators' talk about the installation and about the gallery: Gary O'Dwyer in conversation with Pierre Coinde: Saturday 24 May 2003, 5 pm. Free entrance, numbers are limited

Exhibition runs from 17 May to 1 June 2003 as part of the Bath Fringe Festival
Saturdays, Sundays and Bank holidays from 10.30 am to 5 pm

This installation exhibited in William Beckford's Tower, built in the early 19th C by the reclusive aesthete and author of Vathek, is by the London-based experimental gallery: the Centre of Attention. Snubbed by society because of a sexual scandal which dogged his whole life, Beckford led a secluded existence devoted to art and architecture and surrounded by a exotic retinue of servants including dwarfs and choristers. It was in this Lansdown Tower that he would clip articles from the Times on other peoplešs sexual scandals and paste them into a no doubt elegant scrapbook.

The Centre of Attention project has been 4 fold:

1 Examining ideas around the trace left by a life/performance and how life can only be examined in fragments, which will colour and distort the whole picture.

2 Drawing the audience through a labyrinthine world of art luring them onward to some sort of goal. Achieving the goal would correspond to some summit reaching activity. And once surmounted the work would be revealed (?) This revelation also corresponds with

3 asking what would the art collector Beckford be collecting today. Video art?

4 This installation in a Grade 1 listed building questions our reactions as visitors of Beckford Tower today, and whether we would have had nothing but derision and contempt for the man, had we been contemporaries of his.

For more information, interviews and images: Pierre Coinde or Gary O'Dwyer at the Centre of Attention: 020 7729 0699 or

With our thanks to Steve Henwood at Bath Fringe and Amy Frost at the Bath Preservation Trust who made this exhibition possible.

More photographs of the tower, click here


  Installation in Beckford Tower in Bath
Download the Word press release here